Orthopedic hand surgery is common for people experiencing pain or limited range of motion in their hands due to injury or chronic conditions. While it can significantly improve functionality and quality of life, understanding the recovery and rehabilitation process is essential for achieving optimal results.
What Is The Typical Timeline For Recovery From Orthopedic Hand Surgery?
Recovery from orthopedic hand surgery can be broken down into different phases that vary in duration based on individual healing ability, the surgical procedure performed, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. Initially, patients may experience inflammation characterized by swelling and discomfort. This phase usually lasts about one week but may persist longer depending on the patient's response.
Individual factors can also influence recovery time after orthopedic hand surgery. Age plays a critical role in determining healing speed. Unfortunately, older individuals generally require more time than younger ones due to decreased blood supply in their tissues. Additionally, lifestyle habits like smoking or drinking alcohol can impede proper healing during recovery.
How Can You Manage Pain And Discomfort Post-Hand Surgery?
Managing pain following orthopedic hand surgery requires both medications and self-care strategies. Over-the-counter pain relievers help alleviate mild discomfort, while more severe pain might require prescription opioids for a short period. Non-medication strategies include relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, and distraction methods such as watching TV or reading to help manage discomfort during recovery.
Elevating the affected hand above heart level can also help to reduce swelling and discomfort post-surgery. Patients should maintain this position as much as possible during the initial days of recovery. Additionally, cold therapy by applying ice packs wrapped in a cloth several times a day may alleviate inflammation and temporarily numb the area for increased comfort.
What Types Of Rehabilitation Exercises Will Be Required After Hand Surgery?
Rehabilitation exercises play a critical role in regaining function after orthopedic hand surgery. Early motion is essential in preventing stiffness and promoting blood flow to enhance healing. Not surprisingly, patients usually begin gentle range-of-motion movements shortly after surgery under their therapist's guidance. This will start once the surgery sites have healed enough to withstand the motions these exercises require.
Gradual strengthening exercises are also crucial in rebuilding hand strength over time, typically commencing several weeks post-surgery, depending on individual progress. Rehabilitation treatment strategies following orthopedic hand surgery vary based on the surgery patient's specific procedure. As a result, the rehabilitation therapist is likely to work closely with your surgeon or primary care provider to ensure they understand the scope of the treatments that you will require.