Post Operative Instructions for Hand Surgery Patients

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Common conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Basal Point Arthritis, trauma to wrists and hands may require hand surgery. The main objective of the surgery is to treat a broad range of other issues also like injury, burns, cuts, tendon repair, joint pain, and nerve disorder. Once the surgery is performed, the patient has to undergo a set of rules and post-operative care routine for better healing. However, it is essential that the expert explain the post-operative care routine to the caregiver properly so that the best results are achieved.

What happens right after hand surgery?

Right after the surgery, the patient is prescribed rest for the day. Since the patient is under the impact of anaesthesia, he/she will most likely feel drowsy/sleepy for 24 hours post-surgery. It is normal and nothing to worry about.

Diet is restored under expert supervision. Most likely, the patient is on clear liquid and then graduated to a normal diet as per the individual’s response to diet.

However, here is a list of instructions that the surgeon releases and the caregiver has to ensure that it is strictly followed for recovery as per schedule.

  • Dressing care

First and foremost is the care of dressing and it is most likely a self-care factor. The patients have to try to keep the dressing as dry and clean as possible because it is the impacted area that is wrapped. Hence, the utmost level of hygiene needs to be maintained to administer recovery as scheduled by the expert.

Bathe as per the instructions of the surgeon. However, it is advised to keep the dressing covered with a plastic bag to secure it from getting wet during the shower. In case, the dressing gets wet, call the doctor immediately. You may need a dressing change. So not try to do it yourself. It is an expert’s job.

  • Medications

The surgeon provides a list of medications that include pain killers and antibiotics for healing. If the patient feels constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea; then the doctor has to prescribe the post-operative medication accordingly.

  • Pain Management

The most important thing to note is that the patient should feel comfortable after the surgery. A little discomfort, pain, or swelling is normal. But it is better to take precautions to deal with the same.

Keep your arm elevated at a level above the heart, the caregiver may provide you with pillows to keep the hand/arm raised. A sling is also prescribed for better elevation. However, the patient can get the hand down for brief intervals in between. However, ensure that you keep other areas of the hand mobile to avoid stiffness. For example; if you have had surgery on your thumb, you should move your elbow, fingers, wrist, and shoulder to avoid stiffness.

  • Ice packs

Ice packs are also advised to keep the swelling under check. There are special dressings available to reduce swelling too. The doctor advises the same as required because not all patients require such support. An ice pack should be used for 20-30 minutes and then take a break before reapplication.

  • Follow up

Do not avoid following up with the surgeon as advised. A few patients who feel well post-surgery try to avoid seeing the doctor thinking that they have recovered well. But following up with the doctor is an important part of post-operative care that should never be avoided or neglected.

However, there are a couple of pointers that the patients should never avoid and immediately get in touch with the surgeon:

  • If there is excessive bleeding coming out of the dressing, connect with the doctor immediately.
  • If the pain is unbearable even after medications, the doctor should be consulted.
  • Loss of feeling or numbness in the hand.

Final Thoughts

It is a good idea to engage a hand grip strength trainer post-surgery so that the caregiving can get more effective and beneficial. Once the patients feel better after the surgery, the doctors prescribe several exercises that are simple but effective to restore normal functioning of the hands. Squeezing the MySquegg smart ball makes the exercise regime effective as the hand muscles are engaged and help to restore grip strength.  

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