Care of your Hand with Hand Dressings:
The dressings applied to your hand are to remain in place until the first post-operative visit. Plasters and bandages must be kept clean & dry.
Most surgery on the hand should not produce much pain. Pain will be worse if the hand is allowed to hang by the side, especially during the period whilst the local anaesthesia is working. If that happens the hand swells up and with swelling the wound is stretched, the bandages get tight and pain gets much worse.
Swelling can be avoided by keeping the hand elevated which initially will be done with a sling which will be a help for the first 2 days. If you control the swelling well, then the pain is generally adequately relieved in the first few days with Panadeine or Panadol or the medication prescribed by Mr Griffin. Stronger pain than that may indicate a problem with the dressing and so you should contact the office on 8276 6288.
A sling may be over-used: the elbow and shoulder may not get enough exercise and become stiff. It is therefore quite important to move all of the joints around to make sure that they stay supple. Some dressings are designed to restrict particular aspects of movement, but generally if a joint is not restricted by the dressing then it is intended that it moves. Exercises are good after hand surgery.
Appointments with the Hand Therapist may be necessary after surgery to ensure that the best results are achieved. Your initial appointment with the Hand Therapist will be made by staff in the office and you will be advised of this. If you have any questions about the need for hand therapy please contact the office.
Post-Operative Problems and Concerns:
Bleeding is not expected after hand surgery and if on-going bleeding occurs, please report that to the office. The pain of the surgery should gradually decrease over the next few days; if it is increasing then some problem is occurring that needs notification.
- Philip A. Griffin, FRACS