The idea of having our hands operated on can be nerve-wracking. They are the core component of how many of us make a living or engage in our favorite hobbies. Having them be impaired, even temporarily, can be frustrating and frightening. When hand surgery becomes necessary, it’s essential that you understand your recovery process and follow the post-operative instructions exactly. Doing so will help you successfully navigate your healing journey and experience the benefits the surgery was meant to bring.
How To Manage Post-Operative Swelling and Pain
Swelling and discomfort in the aftermath of any surgery are expected and are a natural part of the healing process. Controlling the swelling is a core component of easing the discomfort that comes with recovery and ensuring a healthy recovery. Below we’ve put together a few tips to help you navigate this part of the recovery process more easily:
- Elevation – Raising the swollen hand aids the body in reducing swelling and inflammation by moving fluid away from that area. This is most easily accomplished by laying on your back with your hand resting on top of some pillows. This should be continued for at least three days after your surgery.
- Ice Therapy – Cooling the affected hand can help reduce inflammation and swelling during the healing process. As with elevating your hand, this is most beneficial in the first few days after your surgery.
- Use A Sling – This medical device serves to immobilize your hand and discourage you from using it. This helps to promote healing in the hand and prevents it from being hurt accidentally. Slings won’t be an appropriate option for some surgeries.
- Maintaining Movement – While it’s essential that you take care with the use of your hand, the rest of your body should still be kept in motion. Sitting still after your surgery will promote stiffness and swelling and can impede the healing process.
In addition to managing the pain and swelling that occurs after surgery, it’s important that you stick with your rehabilitation process. This often involves learning to care for the wound and participating in physical therapy. Further, you should keep to any dietary changes they suggest and stick with your medication schedule. Depending on the nature of your surgery and the severity of the discomfort afterward, you may be prescribed pain medication to manage it while healing.
Contact Lake Country Plastic And Hand Surgery To Learn More
If you’re preparing to undergo hand surgery, or want to be proactive about preparing, contact our office at (262) 523-1200 today! We’ll schedule a consultation with Dr. Tracy McCall, during which you can discuss your procedure and concerns. Together you’ll work to ensure you’re prepared for the surgery and the recovery period. Depending on your lifestyle and the intended surgery, you may need someone to be available to help you through the days immediately after treatment. You can also stop in at our location in Waukesha, WI, and meet our staff and get a tour of our office.