Sustaining a wrist injury can be detrimental to its function and can negatively affect your daily life. Because the hand and wrist have complex structures that work together, an injury or disorder in any component can have repercussions in functionality.
Are you a candidate for wrist surgery? Surgery is often used to treat issues that simply cannot be treated with conservative treatment methods. Learning more about your recovery can help your healing process and alleviate some of your worries about the procedure.
Pain Management with Medication
Pain on your wrist due to the surgery will be one of your concerns after the anesthesia wears off. To address the pain you are feeling, it is necessary to understand how to manage pain and discuss the appropriate measures with your physician. A combination of medications and therapy is effective in controlling pain and prevents prolonged discomfort.
Like every other medical procedure, treating a wrist injury is a meticulous operation where medicine plays a vital role in healing and recovery. After the operation, your doctor may prescribe medications to control your pain and help with your recovery, so you can return to your regular routine safely and quickly.
You need to adhere to your doctor’s prescription to benefit from their effects. Your medication will be specific to the procedure you had and expected recovery and needs. The following are some of the pain medicines that you may receive:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — to decrease the inflammation that can make the pain worse.
- Local anesthesia — temporarily numbs the area where it is injected.
- Opioids — effective for controlling short-term postoperative pain, but can be addictive, so it’s important to take them only as directed by your doctor.
- Nonopioid painkillers — examples are acetaminophen and ketamine.
Therapy and Rehabilitation After Wrist Surgery
After surgery, you will be required to wear a splint or cast to keep your wrist immobile, thus maximizing the benefits of surgery. Depending on the procedure and severity of your injury, you may have to wear it for several weeks. This restricts your movement, which can make your wrist feel weak and stiff.
Once it is removed, specialized care for your hand and wrist is necessary to pave the way toward a successful recovery. With many different therapy options, your physician and therapist will ensure that you have a sound treatment plan to cater to your needs. Physical therapy can prevent deterioration of muscle tone and enhance your endurance and strength. Your physical therapy program may consist of various activities that can essentially improve your strength, coordination, mobility, and flexibility as you recover.
Hand therapy is designed to address the functional and mobility issues of your hand. A certified hand therapist may take your hand measurements and check your wrist strength, coordination, and sensation to craft a program specific to your strengths and limitations. They will then teach you motion exercises that can help speed up your recovery. Remember to perform the exercises as instructed by your therapist.
Your doctor will thoroughly explain activity restrictions, which may require you to adjust work and other activities. Depending on your occupation, you may also need to take time off work during your recovery.
Other therapy techniques can also help you improve your condition on your way to recovery from your wrist surgery. In heat therapy, heat is used to alleviate pain and relieve muscle tension. Meanwhile, with massage therapy, physical force is applied on the wrist to help relax stiff muscles and improve circulation.
Signs to Look Out For During Recovery
Wrist surgeries are generally safe, especially in the hands of a capable doctor. However, all procedures will still have the risk of infection and bleeding. Ask your doctor about possible complications or side effects. Immediately let them know if you experience any of the following:
- Increased pain near the surgical site
- Redness or swelling
Top Hand Surgeon in Palm Beach County
Wrist surgery may take time to heal. But in the hands of a capable surgeon, you’re sure to be on your road to recovery. Let Dr. Steve Meadows of South Palm Orthopedics address your hand and wrist concerns. Experience comprehensive and expert care for your wrist injury and surgery – from consultation to recovery.