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What to Expect after Hand Surgery: A Step by Step Guide

What to Expect after Hand Surgery: A Step by Step Guide

Your hand is an immensely important and highly used part of the body. When an injury occurs you may find yourself incredibly frustrated without the proper use and ability of the hard, wrist, and arm. Surgery may be a solution for people of all ages to repair a number of issues such as Dupuytren’s Contracture, Tendon Repair, Carpal Tunnel Release, Ganglion Cyst Removal, and more. Wrist Arthroscopy is another procedure that allows the surgeon to diagnose and repair tissues inside your wrist without large invasive incisions.

Recovery will vary based on the condition being treated and the scope of injury prior to surgery. If you are contemplating, or are already booked in for a surgical procedure, here is what you can expect following any type of hand surgery.


Is Hand Surgery Right For Me?

The decision of whether or not to have hand and wrist surgery is based on a number of factors that can be discussed with your doctor prior to making a final decision. As with any type of surgery possible risks and benefits should be weighed out before booking in for the procedure. You and your surgeon will contemplate:

  1. Your unique condition
  2. Possible health risks and complications
  3. Response to other treatment options
  4. Recovery time and expected results

Hand Surgery Recovery Timeline

Like any surgery, some pain is expected while your body heals itself and recovers from the incisions, bruising, swelling, and sutures. Your hand surgeon will provide you with after-care steps, medications, and often a treatment plan based on your specific case and the surgery you have received. Here is what you can expect most of the time after surgery:

  • Your hand will be placed into a splint or bandaged, post-op.
  • Your physician will provide you guidance on the length of time you need to immobilize your hand, wrist, or arm to allow for proper rest and recovery of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
  • There will be some pain after surgery that will be managed by your doctor through the use of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications. It is important to carefully follow instructions for pain management to ensure you don’t get ‘behind’ the pain which can make things very uncomfortable for you.
  • Your surgeon will make recommendations based on your specific case to avoid swelling of the hand using methods such as elevation and the application of ice.
  • Sometimes you may be required to splint or bandage the hand at nighttime for much longer than the daytime to ensure a speedier recovery and to protect the hand from being accidentally hurt during sleep.
  • Your surgeon will provide guidelines for the length of time you need to restrict use of the hand. Because it is such a highly used appendage you may need assistance with some activities such as dressing, bathing, driving, preparing meals, etc.
  • A physical therapy program will most likely be prescribed to assist with healing and strengthening the hand after surgery.
  • The exact length of time it will take to recover will vary greatly depending on the type of surgery, whether or not you need multiple procedures, and the condition of your hand prior to operation.

Okanagan Hand and Wrist Surgery Specialists

Having surgery is just the beginning of your journey towards regaining function in your hand again. Post-operation, your surgeon will monitor healing and make recommendations for therapy and rehabilitation to get you the best results possible.

The team at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre has been successfully healing hand and wrist conditions for people from all over the world. Based in beautiful Kelowna BC, our team of highly experienced and sought-after professionals will guide you through from initial consultation all the way to healing and recovery. If you are contemplating hand surgery for yourself, reach out to the administrative staff to book a consultation for your specific condition by calling (250) 868-9799 or filling out the website form below.


Q: What are some common hand and wrist conditions that are treated with surgery?
A: Some of the conditions that are treated with surgery to relieve the hand and wrist of pain and reduced functionality are:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger Release
  • Tendon Tear or Rupture
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture Fasciectomy
  • Damaged Knuckles
  • Wrist Joint Replacement

There are many surgical procedures that can help heal your hand and wrist. Reach out to the team at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre to see if surgery is a good option for you.

Q: What kind of support is available after hand surgery?
A: Depending on your procedure and what your doctor recommends, there are many different people who can help reduce hand surgery recovery time by providing support and therapy options. There are hand-specific therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists who can all be a part of your recovery program.

Q: Why get hand surgery?
A: Having surgery for your hand will help to reduce pain and gain strength and mobility back. You may find that surgery to your hand may have cosmetic benefits as well as it begins to heal and return to its former appearance.

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“This has been the easiest, most comfortable, most friendly, calming, warm and safe experience I have ever had in a medical treatment. Compared to previous surgeries at the hospital, this was pure Joy. Happy holidays to the incredible staff at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre with my deepest gratitude.

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