Our hands help us accomplish many tasks from the smallest things such as combing hair, brushing teeth, and turning a doorknob to carrying items, cooking, cleaning, and typing on a keyboard. Hand pain caused by overuse or injury can severely limit your ability to perform tasks. To relieve symptoms and restore function to an injured hand, your doctor may recommend hand surgery. Hand surgery can treat a wide range of conditions affecting the hand, wrist, and arm.
Patients who are scheduled to undergo hand surgery will need to make preparations and will receive post-operative instructions for a successful recovery.
To prepare for hand surgery, it is recommended that you set up a support system that includes family, friends, or caregivers to assist you around the house, since there will be changes in your routine. Make sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery, since you will still feel lightheaded for up to 24 hours after the operation. In addition, shop for groceries and assistive devices beforehand to help make recovery easier, considering you will have limited use of your hands. Turning a door or shower knob, flipping a light switch, or lifting objects may cause pain after the surgery. Preparing ahead of time allows you to have a smoother recovery.
After hand surgery, you will need to take pain medication as prescribed even before the anesthesia wears off. Keep your arm elevated (above your heart) to minimize swelling and pain, propping it up on pillows while seated or when lying down. Keeping your incision and bandage dry is also important to prevent infection. To keep dry, shower with a plastic wrapper over the bandage. Your doctor will schedule the removal of your dressings in a follow-up appointment. Be on the lookout for signs of infection, such as fever, pus formation and discharge, and a feeling of heat and tenderness near the incision site. Listen to your body, slight discomfort is to be expected but other severe symptoms are not.
A critical part of hand surgery recovery is physical rehabilitation. Physical therapy exercises help restore hand strength, flexibility, and function. Physical therapy along with occupational therapy should be provided by a trained specialist for optimal recovery. Physical rehabilitation usually includes exercises, heat or cold therapy, manual therapy, traction, and nerve stimulation. The more comprehensive the physical therapy program, the greater the results.
Hand Surgery in Boynton Beach, FL
Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches have extensive training in orthopedic surgery and utilize the latest minimally-invasive techniques for reduced risk of complications and support a faster recovery. Our very own Dr. Jennifer Tucker is fellowship-trained in hand and upper extremity surgery and is known for her highly personalized treatment methods. Our entire team makes sure our patients fully understand pre-operative and post-operative instructions in order to maximize surgery success and also offers on-site physical therapy services to maximize recovery. Our goal is to help you regain the full function of your hands and live pain-free.
To learn more about hand surgery or to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, call (561) 733-5888, Ext. 1 or use our online request form.