5 Tips For Recovering From Hand Surgery
You may not realize just how important your hands are for successfully navigating life until you find yourself needing hand surgery. Whether you fractured bones in your hand trying to protect yourself from a fall, fell on your wrist while skiing or playing sports, or have simply experienced wrist and hand pain for years, your orthopedic doctor may recommend surgery to repair your hand. Recovering from hand surgery is never easy, but these five tips will improve your experience and healing time:
Prep Your Home Ahead of Time
If your surgery is scheduled in advance, take advantage of the time leading up to surgery and prep your home to ensure maximum safety and comfort as you're recovering. Make sure that items you use on a daily basis (things like reading glasses, the TV remote, etc) are placed somewhere easy for you to reach with your unaffected hand.
Preparing meals ahead of time (such as lasagna, casseroles, or enchiladas that can be frozen and easily heated) as well as healthy snacks like cut up fruit and veggies is also a good idea. You will most likely be tired and in need of rest in the days right after your surgery since your body will be using as much energy as possible to heal. Have some Netflix movies or audio books queued up and ready to go to prevent boredom.
Plan Ahead to Manage Pain
Once the anesthesia from your surgery wears off, you will be in a lot of pain unless you already have painkillers in your system. Ask your doctor for your prescription ahead of time so that you or a loved one can already have it with you when you leave the hospital. Ask for specific dosage and timing directions so that you can stay ahead of the time (instead of letting too much time lapse in between dosages) while not overdoing it either.
You may also want to ask for advice regarding the safe tapering off of prescription pain medication once your pain subsides. It's best to get all of this in writing before your surgery.
Consider Buying Speech Recognition Software
Even if your surgery is on your non-dominant hand, typing with one hand is difficult and time-consuming. To keep up on emails and get some work done remotely, consider buying speech recognition software. This will allow you to speak into your phone or your laptop's microphone and the software will then transcribe what you've written. There might be a bit of a learning curve with this software, but if your hand is going to be out of commission for weeks or months, it will definitely make your life easier once you get used to it.
Don't Skip Out on Physical Therapy
Hands are complicated body parts, composed of many tendons and 27 bones. In order to make sure everything gets back to optimal functionality and to avoid future pain and stiffness, your orthopedic doctor will assign you hand exercises for once your cast comes off and possibly refer you to a physical therapist as well. It's very important that you keep up with your exercises, even if the results aren't obvious at first. A successful hand surgery isn't just about the surgery itself, but how you take care of your hand afterward.
Keep Your Hand Protected
While recovering from surgery, your hand will be in a fragile and vulnerable state. A sling for your arm and hand will help keep your hand out of harm's way while also positioning it correctly for healing. It's also a good idea to buy a cast cover to protect your cast from getting wet when you shower.
By following these tips post-hand surgery, you will help ensure a successful and low-stress recovery. For more information, talk with a hand surgery specialist or visit websites like http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com. to get in contact with a professional.