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Recovering from Hand Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Recovering from Hand Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare
Recovering from Hand Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Recovering from Hand Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Opting for hand surgery marks a significant step toward reclaiming hand mobility and alleviating discomfort. It's natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness about the procedure and recovery. We're committed to supporting you through this process, providing guidance on what to anticipate and assisting in your preparation for the surgery.

Ensuring you're well-prepared before your hand surgery is crucial. Here are valuable tips to help you get ready for the procedure:

  • A helping hand: After your surgery, you will be doing most daily tasks and activities with one hand. Using one hand can be extremely difficult, especially when you are not used to it. Have a loved one at home to help during your recovery period. An extra set of hands can make a huge difference, whether they're driving you to appointments, cooking dinner, or getting dressed.
  • Do the chores before: Once you return home after your surgery, the last thing on your mind will be to clean or tidy up your home. Make your recovery as smooth as possible by cleaning the house, doing your laundry, and grocery shopping before your hand surgery.
  • Prep your home: Apart from chores, there are other things you can do to prepare your home for an easy recovery. Prepare quick meals that will take little effort for you to heat in the microwave. Stock up on paper plates, so you can avoid doing the dishes for the first few weeks of recovery. Rearrange the furniture in a way most convenient for you. Finally, lay out loose-fitting outfits that take minimal effort to put on by yourself.
  • Change your plans: You should know that the recovery period for hand surgery can span from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the surgery. Check your calendar and postpone any upcoming plans that could hinder your recovery.

Transitioning from the preparation phase, let's dive into what lies ahead during your recovery from hand surgery.

  • Keep your hand elevated: During the recovery period, keeping your hand and arm elevated is essential, especially in the first few days following surgery. Supporting your arm with a pillow or armrest will help minimize inflammation and pain.
  • Stay away from water: Keeping your dressing and bandages dry is essential to prevent infection and other complications. Try covering your hand with a plastic bag or sleeve when showering to protect your wound.
  • Do your exercises: Therapy exercises are a very important part of your recovery process. Your surgeon and physical therapist will recommend targeted exercises to regain strength and mobility in your hand. Without these exercises, recovery will take longer, and can limit hand function.
  • Listen to your body: One of the most crucial parts of recovery is listening to your body. Discomfort in your hand is expected, but if the pain becomes severe and isn’t relieved by pain medication, elevation, or exercises, something may be wrong. Contact your provider if you are questioning or concerned about your hand following surgery.

Implementing these tips will optimize your recovery journey post-hand surgery. Contact Dr. Shoruder-Henry if you have more questions or need assistance during your recovery. Your well-being is our priority!

AUTHOR: Jason Shrouder-Henry MD, MBA is a Board Certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder throughout Chicagoland.