After Hand Surgery

After surgery, the better you take care of yourself—especially your hand—the sooner it will heal. Follow your surgeon’s instructions. Try not to bump your hand, and don’t move or lift anything while you’re still wearing bandages, a splint, or a cast.

Care for your hand

Woman reading while propping arm in cast up on pillows.

  • Keep your hand elevated above heart level as much as possible for the first several days after surgery. This helps reduce swelling and pain.

  • To help prevent infection and speed healing, take care not to get your cast or bandages wet.

Relieve pain as directed

Your surgeon may prescribe pain medicine or suggest you take an anti-inflammatory medicine. You might also be instructed to apply ice (or another cold source) to your hand. If you use ice cubes, put them in a plastic bag and rest it on top of your bandages. Leave the cold source on your hand for as long as it’s comfortable. Do this several times a day for the first few days after surgery. It may take several minutes before you can feel the cold through the cast or bandages.

Follow up with your surgeon

During a follow-up visit after surgery, your surgeon will check your progress. The stitches, bandages, splint, or cast may be removed. A new cast or splint may be placed. If your hand has healed enough, your surgeon may prescribe exercises.

Do prescribed hand exercises

Your surgeon may recommend that you do exercises. These may be done under the guidance of a physical or occupational therapist. The exercises strengthen your hand, help you regain flexibility, and restore proper function. Do the exercises as advised.

Call your surgeon if you have…

  • A fever higher than 100.4°F (38.0°C) taken by mouth

  • Side effects from your medicine, such as prolonged nausea

  • A wet or loose dressing, or a dressing that is too tight

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Increased, ongoing pain or numbness

  • Signs of infection (such as drainage, warmth, or redness) at the incision site



Back

Contact Us for a Free
Consultation & Care Assessment

Let's Get Started

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
and Care Assessment

Greenwich, CT:

203-532-0500

Westchester, NY:

914-517-0520

235 Glenville Road 3rd Floor,
Greenwhich, Connecticut 06831


Learning Center

Medication Library

Find medication information to help educate patients, families and caregivers.

Diseases & Conditions Library

Find detailed information on a wide range of health conditions, illnesses, and treatments.

Aging Wellness Center

Find helpful articles to make the most out of your golden years.

Resource Links

Find links to helpful aging resources around the internet

Blog

Find the latest information and announcements from Sterling Care.