Close up a patients hand, in an room at hospital surgery room theater with the doctor and medical office staff

You don’t often realize what you have until you lose it when it comes to hand surgery. Or, after the surgery, you don’t know how often you use your hands every day and how it affects your routine when they are temporarily disabled. To make your recovery go smoothly, we have outlined the things to expect and do after surgery.

It’s important to note that aftercare advice will always vary from patient to patient, and it’s best to consult your surgeon. However, there are a few general principles that essentially everyone can keep in mind.

How Long Does It Take to Get Back on Your Feet After Hand Surgery?

Depending on the complexity of the surgery and the patient’s body’s ability to heal, a hand surgery patient can expect a recovery period of several weeks or months. During the healing period, patients should avoid using their hands in any way that their surgeon has not permitted. This can cause injury to the affected area, delaying gradual healing.

In some instances, a patient’s hand may be braced or placed in a splint to keep it immobilized. When the surgical site heals, the patient can expect an improved range of motion and increased comfort and quality of life if the surgery was to address injuries or persistent pain.

What to Do at Home to Recover After a Hand Surgery?

Your hand may be immobilized in a splint after surgery, either partially or entirely. To regain complete motor function, you may be prescribed a follow-up physical therapy or occupational therapy program. It’s critical to concentrate on recovery during this time, and mending is best accomplished through rest.

The following actions are part of the preparation process:

Only Pick up Labeled (Safe or Not Safe) Items

We don’t think twice about using our hands, and anything we consider light before surgery may be heavy enough to cause discomfort or hinder healing. Labeling your belongings will serve as a reminder to be cautious and consider how you use your hands following surgery.

Seek Assistance

Cooking, dishwashing, vacuuming, and other domestic chores require a lot of physical effort. A helping hand can make a big difference. While hiring help may be out of the question for some, instant assistance from a friend or family member can aid patients in their recovery and rest.

Keep Your Hands Dry with Plastic Bags

Plastic freezer or bread bags are an excellent technique to avoid irritating the surgical area with hot water, detergent, or other irritants, whether a patient’s hand is in a brace, cast, or has stitches. It’s also critical to keep the area dry until you’re told differently.

Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Surgeons prescribe treatment plans with a specific goal in mind. It’s critical not to get a patient’s brace or stitches wet if they’ve been told not to. If physical therapy or occupational therapy has been ordered, it is strongly advised that they follow the program’s instructions. Following guidelines will only help, not hinder, a patient’s recovery.

What’s Next?

Recovering from hand surgery is a delicate and sometimes frustrating process. To guarantee that you regain your complete range of motion, make sure you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions and consider our provided tips.

If you think you want to learn more about what you can do after the surgery, talk to one of our hand surgeons at North Florida Hand and Wrist today!