Home - There are no modifications required for your home prior to surgery. The physician determines any modifications and/or special equipment needs at the time of discharge from the hospital. It is recommended that you make arrangements for someone to stay with you the first day after surgery, in case you need assistance. Not all patients will require assistance in the postoperative period.
Wound – For the first few days keep your hand elevated to reduce the amount of swelling and promote healing. The incision should be kept clean and dry. Clean the incision with alcohol and change the dressing daily or if it becomes soiled. Shower daily. Pat the incision dry, clean with alcohol and re-apply dressing. The stitches will be removed approximately 7-10 days after you are discharged from the hospital. Call our office to schedule the suture removal (by our clinical staff) or by your local physician 1014 days after surgery.
Pain – It is normal to experience residual pain in your hand, as well as numbness and tingling in your fingers. These should resolve with time as your body heals. A prescription will be given to you when you are discharged from the hospital. The oral medication should control the pain over the first few days. If you have any medication questions or needs please use our medication voicemail available Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:00pm. Prescriptions for pain medicine cannot be changed or refilled outside of our regular office hours nor through the answering service.
Activity – Do not do any lifting for 3-5 days, after that then you may begin to use the hand for small light task. Once your stitches have been removed you may begin a light exercise program to help improve circulation, range of motion and strength. We recommend squeezing a soft ball or sponge and progress to a stiffer type of stress ball.
Return To Work - The recuperation period is generally 2 weeks, if you are not involved in extremely strenuous labor. If your occupation is physically strenuous, it may require that you be off work for an additional length of time. Returning to work is can be discussed at the time the stitches are removed.
Infection – Although rare, an infection can occur after any surgery. The bacteria usually come from the patient’s own skin. Treatment requires a course of antibiotics and will prolong the recovery period.
Weakness/Paralysis/Numbness – This complication is extremely rare, but the surgery does involve the nerves. Nerve issues are usually partial and temporary but cases of permanent injury have been reported.
DVT – After surgery blood clots in the legs can occur. These usually present as a painful swollen leg. If you think this could be happening you will need an ultrasound to diagnosis the problem. You should go to the closest emergency room to have this evaluated as it can be a life-threatening problem. If you do have a DVT it is treated with blood thinners.
Medical Complications – After surgery and anesthesia there is an increased risk for medical problems such as heart attacks, kidney failure, pneumonia, stroke and even death. If you feel you are having an emergency please go straight to the closest emergency room.