Elevation of the hand is very important after any surgery
or injury to the hand. The hand should
be kept at a level that is higher than your heart in order to cause fluid to
drain from the hand. This is very
important to prevent swelling. A
swollen hand will be painful, and a swollen hand will also become stiff. It is
important to make a full fist and fully straighten your fingers ten times an
hour after any hand surgery or injury that does not involve a tendon repair.
This motion will pump the fluid out of the
fingers and thereby prevent swelling.
Do not change the bandages or splint after surgery until the first post operative
visit with Dr. Miller. The bandages must also be kept dry. Showering should be
done with a large plastic bag over the hand and arm, securely taped just below
the shoulder. By keeping the hand fully elevated, it is possible to take a brief shower without getting the bandages
operation that has been done under a local anesthetic, or local anesthetic with
sedation, it is common to experience numbness and tingling in the hand for
eight to ten hours or longer. A
prescription for a pain reliever will be given to you after the surgery and we recommend
that you fill the prescription, although frequently only one or two pills will
be necessary. The most important aspect
of pain relief after hand surgery is strict elevation of the hand.
are usually removed ten to fifteen days after hand surgery. A scar massage
program is then begun, using Vitamin E oil, briskly rubbed into the scar for
five minutes, twice a day. The oil may
be purchased without a prescription; it is also fine to use the oil from a
capsule of Vitamin E. The massage program is continued for at least one month.
Hand therapy may be necessary after surgery for a variety of reasons.
Making a special splint, regaining motion, managing scars, etc. are all areas that a Hand Therapist can help with.