Like most things in life, it’s not until you lose the use of your hand that you realize how much you rely on it throughout the day. Thankfully, hand surgery is designed to relieve a painful problem and restore use to your hand, but recovery can have its challenges as you eagerly await your outcome.
At Western Orthopaedics, our team of orthopedic specialists has your orthopedic needs covered from head to toe, which includes your all-important hands. If you’re undergoing hand surgery, here’s what you can expect, as well as a few tips to help with the early days of recovery.
Loss of use
Your recovery from hand surgery depends heavily upon the extent of the procedure, but most surgeries require a period of healing, which means limited-to-no use of your hand for a certain period.
To give you an idea of the disparity, if we’re performing a trigger release surgery, we may want you to start using your fingers straight away. If we’re performing a carpal tunnel release surgery, you can expect that your hand will be splinted and largely inoperable for one to two weeks.
If we’re performing more complex surgery that involves major connective tissues, like your tendons and ligaments, your hand may be out of commission for several weeks or several months, depending upon the extent of the repairs.
To be sure, we provide you with a typical timeline beforehand so you know what to expect.
Once we give you the green light to use your hand again after surgery, we usually provide you with exercises or recommend a physical therapist. It’s terribly important that you follow these guidelines to the letter as they will help you regain full use of your hand more quickly and safely. The last thing we want is to reinjure your hand during recovery, which will greatly set back your timeline.
A little prep work
We highly recommend doing a little prep work before your hand surgery so you’re better prepared afterward. For example, cook up a few meals in advance so you’re not stumbling around the kitchen with one hand — even cracking an egg can be difficult!
You should also get yourself a backpack or fanny pack to help you carry things around.
Be sure to follow our cleaning and bandaging instructions, and have an adequate supply of plastic bags to put on your on hand when you shower or bathe.
You can also explore different dictation devices so you can still communicate with friends and colleagues when typing becomes a little difficult.
For hand surgery, please know that we’re with you every step of the way, and we’re here to help if you have any questions or concerns afterward. Simply contact one of our two offices in Denver or Arvada, Colorado.