Hand Surgery Recovery Tips
Depending on the type and severity of both your injury and surgery, the details of recovery look different for most people, but there are some hand surgery recovery tips that are helpful no matter what. It is important to know what to expect from recovery and how you can get through it in the best way possible, so we have compiled a list of recovery tips for you.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and that you should always consult your doctor if you have any questions during your hand surgery recovery.
Set Up Your Home Before Surgery
It is highly recommended that you set up your space so that it is accommodating post-surgery. For example, make sure any important items are easy to reach, get straws so you can drink without having to lift your cup, prepare meals ahead of time, etc. These steps will make protecting your hand much easier during recovery.
Care for Your Brace or Splint
You will likely need at least one brace or splint to protect and support your hand during your recovery. You should ask your doctor how to care for your specific equipment, but in general, you will likely be told to shower or bathe with a plastic bag over it to keep it dry.
Start Occupational Therapy
An occupational therapist will give you detailed, custom exercise plans throughout your rehabilitation. The plan will include specific exercises and therapies to help relieve swelling and pain, as well as to restore range of motion, strength and function. As with any small injury, the sooner you start rehabilitation, the quicker your recovery.
Respect Your Restrictions
Be sure to respect the restrictions you’re given by your doctor so you do not injure your hand or lengthen your recovery! It is important that you manage your expectations and plan ahead for what you can accomplish during recovery.
Plan for Pain
Be sure to work with your doctor in advance to know what kinds of medications you may need and how you should take them. It is very likely that you will have some discomfort, soreness and pain post-surgery, so you may want to stock up on over-the-counter anti-inflammatories,
Because there are many different types of hand injuries and surgeries, it’s necessary to keep in contact with your doctor and occupational therapist so you can follow their specific recommendations and tweak your plan as needed.