Recovering from hand surgery needs preparation, diligence, and patience. If you are scheduled to undergo hand surgery, work closely with your health care team in order to have an optimal recovery. The goal of recovery is to give your hand what it needs to heal and fully regain function. This period is critical for surgery success.
Given how much you rely on your hands every day, you no doubt want your recovery to be done as soon as possible. Nobody wants an extended recovery period. Depending on your surgery, guidelines may change, but orthopedic surgery of any kind will require immobility, ample rest, and physical therapy rehabilitation.
You may be able to heal faster from hand surgery by doing the following.
Make Preparations For Recovery
After hand surgery, there will be activity and weight limitations that you should be prepared for. Ask for assistance with chores, errands, and more for at least a week after surgery. Ask your doctor for assistive devices that you can use at home. Instead of cooking, eat prepared meals. Ask a loved one to help you with chores. Keep items you will need nearby, so you don’t have to struggle to take things down from high shelves after surgery. Prepare clothes and shoes that will require minimal effort to put on and take off. Purchase plastic bags that you can place over your bandage to keep it dry when doing things that may wet it.
Rest and Keep Your Affected Hand Elevated
Focus on resting during the first several days after hand surgery. Also keep your hand elevated, above heart level to reduce swelling and pain. Keeping it in this position as often as you can help speed up healing. Don’t jump back into your daily routine immediately following surgery. Instead, take it easy and rest as much as possible.
Do Not Place Stress on the Affected Hand
Avoid using your affected hand after hand surgery, although this is very difficult to imagine when basic things such as self-care and feeding yourself require the use of your hands. There will be activity and weight limitations you should follow.
If you’ve had surgery on one hand, use the other one more. Your affected hand will be in a bandage that only the doctor can remove. You are encouraged to wiggle your fingers to encourage blood flow but try to avoid repetitive movements and lifting things with the affected hand. The last thing you want is to injure your hand and delay healing.
Do Your Physical Therapy Exercises
Once the bandage or splint is removed, you can begin physical therapy exercises. Initially, you will be meeting with a physical therapist who will guide you on how to perform the exercises correctly. This is a very critical part of recovery. Since your hand was immobilized, there may be stiffness and weakness, which physical therapy exercises will fix. Hand stretches such as tight fist exercises, finger and thumb bend exercises, wrist rotation, and forearm rotation exercises help gradually build strength and resistance of hand muscles and improve range of motion. Doing physical therapy exercises regularly helps you return to your pre-surgery state sooner.
Hand Surgery in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach & Boca Raton, FL
Place your trust in the hands of a fellowship-trained hand surgeon, Dr. Steve Meadows. Dr. Meadows of South Palm Orthopedics is renowned in Palm Beach for his skillful correction of hand problems and superior rehabilitation program. We welcome you to our state-of-the-art orthopedic facility in Palm Beach. To make an appointment, call (561) 496-6622 or use our online form.