Going In For Hand Surgery? 4 Steps To Prevent Post-Operative Complications

If you're going to be having surgery on your hand, the time to start preparing for the recovery period is now. It's important to remember that proper care is key to a successful recovery for hand surgery. With proper care, you shouldn't experience any post-operative complications. Here are four steps you can take to care for you hand after surgery.

Remember to Keep It Elevated

After hand surgery, elevation is crucial to the healing process. Keeping your hand elevated after surgery will reduce swelling and alleviate the pain. For maximum benefit, you should keep your hand elevated above your heart for the first few days following surgery. When you're sitting down or lying in bed, use several pillows to elevate your hand. When you're walking around the house, gently rest your affected hand on the opposite shoulder.

Keep the Bandage Dry and Clean

Following surgery, your hand will be wrapped in bandages and fitted with a cast. The outer portion of the cast may be wrapped with compression bandages to keep your hand secure. It's important that you keep the bandages clean and dry. Moisture and dirt can lead to post-operative infections. If you're going to shower or bathe, place a plastic bag over your hand and secure it with a strip of duct tape. The bag will keep your bandages dry while you bathe. If your bandages do become wet or soiled, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible. They may need to redress your wound.

Remember to Relax

After your surgery, it's important that you relax as much as possible, especially for the first few days. Strenuous activities—even if they don't include your hand—can cause complications, including pain and swelling. This is particularly true of activities that increase your blood pressure. To keep the pain and swelling to a minimum, remember to relax for several days following your surgery.

Know the Signs of Infection

Once you've had surgery on your hand, you should keep an eye out for possible post-operative infections. Some of the signs you should look for include:

  • Increased pain in your hand
  • Redness in your fingers
  • High fever

If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

While you're making preparations for your hand surgery, remember to plan for the recovery period. In addition to the post-operative instructions you receive from your doctor, follow these tips to avoid complications. For more information on hand surgery, check out websites like http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com.