At one point in either your life or your loved one’s life, hand surgery may be necessary to relieve a hand or wrist injuries. Although it may just be the hand that is affected, there are still tips you should consider to recover more quickly after your surgery and to make sure that you regain full use of your hand. Depending on the severity of your condition and the surgery that is needed to correct your hand, you may need anywhere from four to twelve weeks or more to consider yourself fully recovered.
Before then, here are some guidelines you need to follow:
Prepare yourself and your home prior to your hand surgery
- Rearrange your home and ready it for your homecoming after surgery. Place furniture where it will be easy to access. Make sure you have comfortable chairs you can frequently rest on. Have cushions ready so that you can rest your hand on these whenever you sit down. Survey the things you use quite often, and place these in easily accessible places in the different rooms of your house.
- Put visual reminders such as stickers or Post-its on the heavy or unwieldy things you are not supposed to handle or carry after the surgery. Doing this will automatically remind you not to reach for these things when you get back home from the hospital.
- Cook, freeze, and pre-pack portioned meals that you can easily heat them post-surgery. Choose dishes and food containers that are light and easy to open. Avoid glass and ceramic dishes, as these can be too much for you to lift. With drinks, something as simple as using a straw instead of drinking straight from cups or mugs can lessen your need to lift containers with your hand.
Remember to prepare nutritious food to aid in your recovery. Shop for a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Check with your doctor if there are certain types of food you will need to avoid. Do some research to determine the types of food that can help you recover faster.
- Prepare plastic bags that you can use to wrap your injured hand in when you take showers. Remember that you can’t wet or wash your bandaged hand until your surgeon gives you the go-signal to do so.
- Reach out to your family, relatives, and friends for help. After your surgery, accept that you will not be as mobile as usual and that you should not overexert yourself. It’s perfectly okay to ask for assistance or favors while you’re recovering.
Strictly comply with your doctor’s instructions
It’s an automatic guideline you will receive after surgery, but it’s still worth reiterating here because many adults don’t follow what their doctors tell them. What usually happens is you follow the instructions that are convenient for you and do away with complicated guidelines or reminders. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter to speed up your recovery. Not doing so can do more harm than good.
Show up for your follow-up appointment after surgery
After surgery, you may be feeling relieved of the pain caused by your condition. Do not forget to see your surgeon at the prescribed time after your surgery, even if you’re already feeling better and your incision wound is healing well. Your doctor will want to do a thorough post-surgery check-up on your hand and make sure there are no infections or other problems. Your doctor will also assess how your body is responding to your medications. See your doctor, and do not make the mistake of self-medicating yourself.
Go to the ER if you manifest unexpected symptoms
Hand surgeries are usually uncomplicated procedures. If something alarming does come up prior to the date of your follow-up checkup, don’t hesitate to get yourself checked by a doctor at the nearest hospital’s emergency room. If needed, the ER will contact your surgeon or physician.
Manage your pain well
Expect that your hand will be painful after surgery. Follow the instructions for taking your pain medications. For example, if your surgeon prescribes that you take a specific painkiller every six hours, do so even if you’re not in pain. Waiting for pain first before taking any medicine sometimes doesn’t work. There is no need to suffer unnecessarily as this will just cause you stress and may slow down your healing.
Check your incision and care for it properly
It might be a ghastly sight to you, but remember to inspect your incision. You have to check if it’s healing well to be sure that no infection is setting in. Follow the instructions your surgeon gives you about how to care for your incision. While you should keep the incision under a watchful eye, don’t overclean it as this could also complicate things.
Although it can be quite a hassle, rest assured there are solutions for your hand injury or condition. In certain cases, surgery can’t be avoided. To learn more about hand injuries and how these can be treated, you should take a look at the site of reputable hand surgeons in your vicinity.