The amount of time it takes to recover from hand surgery varies from one patient to another, and it depends on the type of surgery performed and the underlying cause of the hand condition. In addition, your overall health condition before the surgery can also affect your recovery.
Recovery from hand surgery usually takes several weeks. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions in order to ensure optimum results and to avoid complications, such as infection or re-injury.
If you are considering hand surgery or if you are scheduled to have hand surgery, and you’re curious about what recovery is going to be like, here’s a general timeline of what you can expect:
Immediately After Hand Surgery
If your operation was outpatient surgery, you will need to have someone you know who can drive you home after the surgery. Your hand will be in a splint and immobilized, rendering you unable to drive.
Even if your procedure was not outpatient, someone will have to drive you home from the hospital once you are discharged – and most hospitals and clinics now require that the driver be someone you personally know. It cannot be an Uber, Lyft, or taxi driver. This is due to liability and safety issues.
24 Hours After Surgery
The following day after hand surgery, you will need to return to your doctor’s office for the removal of the bandage and the drainage tube. The physician will check for signs of infection, and the doctor will let you know whether you are ready to begin physical therapy exercises. This therapy will facilitate proper blood circulation in your hand and arm.
Within Two Weeks After the Operation
You will feel some pain and soreness as your body begins the healing process. Take the pain medication prescribed by your doctor. You will also need to return to the doctor’s clinic for the removal of the stitches, and you will need to wear a splint to assist with healing.
Weeks Three to Five
By this time, you may no longer need pain medication. There may still be some swelling and a pins-and-needles sensation, but you are getting closer to the end of the recovery period.
You will now only need to wear the splint at night so that your surgical area isn’t inadvertently damaged while you sleep. You will likely have follow-up appointments with your surgeon, so be sure that you do not miss your checkups.
By this time, you should be able to return to work, albeit with reduced hours and less use of your hands while you recuperate. If your work requires heavy use of your hands, then you may need to delay going back to work for a longer period of time. Continue performing your physical therapy exercises at home, and see your doctor for follow-up checkups.
Hand Surgeons in St. Louis, MO
Our skilled orthopedic surgeons at Advanced Bone & Joint are here to help you with the hand and wrist issues you may have. We can diagnose and treat all types of hand pain and disability problems, and we have extensive experience in surgical procedures that help to restore the normal functioning of your hands and wrists.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our hand surgeons, contact our friendly staff today by calling Advanced Bone & Joint at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our appointment request form now. We look forward to serving you.