Whether it’s a procedure for fixing a significant injury, treating carpal tunnel, or you’re undergoing an arthroplasty, hand surgery can be a real challenge simply because we rely so heavily on this part of the body in our daily lives.
The recovery process and its complexity are largely based upon the type of surgery you’ve undergone and your Richmond hand surgeon will walk you through the specifics of what you can expect. Every procedure is different and, in some cases, you may need more than one surgery in order to solve whatever problem you are dealing with.
But despite the type of surgery you’ve had, there are a number of common post-operative factors that every patient can expect to encounter. Since we depend on the use of our hands so often, it’s a body part that can be quite sensitive. Being denied the use of one of them can take some adjustment time and you may find you need to fight against your natural reflexes when you want to reach or grab for something.
That’s okay, it’s perfectly normal to experience some form of inconvenience with respect to learning how to manage through your everyday routine without the use of one hand.
Pain and Discomfort
Many patients may experience some level of pain in their post-operative phase. This will also depend largely on the procedure you had done and the pain can be light as to be mildly uncomfortable or it can be quite unforgiving for a temporary amount of time.
Your surgeon or specialist will usually prescribe some form of pain medication to help reduce the pain and allow you to feel comfortably during the healing period. If you are experiencing mild to significant pain, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
Your doctor will likely immobilize the hand by wrapping it in dressing and even possibly applying a splint to keep it in place. The length of time your hand might be immobilized will be determined by the type of surgery you had and the recovery process necessary to allow it to heal.
Some procedures will only require you to have the hand immobilized at night while you sleep and give you more range of motion during the day. But always remember to follow your doctor’s instructions and try not to deviate from them.
Your physician will likely place some limits and restrictions on the types of activities in which you participate so as to reduce the amount of stress and strain on the hand while it recovers. Forcing your hand to adopt to normal physical activities too soon can result in the hand getting injured or aggravating any incision points.
Finally, many hand surgery patients will undergo some form of rehabilitation to help strengthen and improve functionality of the hand. This may include any number of physical or occupational therapies or exercises that should be performed carefully and slowly at first.
In any instance, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders to the letter so you may fully recover and regain complete use of the hand once more.