Management After Surgery

What can I expect after hand surgery?

Recovery after hand surgery depends greatly on the type of surgery that was performed and the underlying cause of the hand condition. Sometimes, repeat surgeries are needed. The hand is an intricate part of our lives and is very sensitive. Mild to severe pain may be expected after many types of hand surgeries. Pain medications may be given to help alleviate the discomfort. The following are some of the other possible outcomes that you may be told to expect following hand surgery:

  • Your hand may be immobilized in a bandage or splint after surgery. Your physician will decide the length of time of the immobilization. After some surgeries, the hand may be immobilized for months at nighttime to enhance recovery.
  • There may be some restrictions placed on activities and work after the surgery. This also will be determined by your physician, based on an individual basis.
  • Rehabilitation may be recommended to increase the strength and function of the hand. Rehabilitation may include physical therapy and/or occupational therapy. A trained specialist will be involved in your care to optimize recovery of the hand.

Therapy of the hand may include the following:

  • exercises for the hand
  • heat therapy
  • massage therapy
  • splinting
  • traction
  • bandages to help control swelling
  • nerve stimulation

In many cases, surgery is just the start of recovery. Intensive rehabilitation may be necessary to regain optimal functioning of the hand. It is important to follow all of the instructions given to you after surgery by your physician and any other specialists that are involved in your care.

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