After Your Hand Surgery
Our goal is to get you back to health following your hand surgery. We have some tips to help you achieve the best results.
After Surgery Tips
Make sure to follow your surgeon's instructions to prevent infection and promote healing.
- Keep your hand elevated as much as possible for the first 72 hours after surgery to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk.
- Move any of the fingers not included in your splint and exercise your fingers as much as possible to decrease swelling and reduce pain.
- Apply an ice pack to the operative site 20 minutes out of every hour for the first 48 hours.
- You may bathe or shower at any time after surgery but keep your dressing clean and dry.
- Your surgeon will tell you whether it is safe to shower and wash your hands.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen): Unless told otherwise you should take 650 mg. of Tylenol every six hours for the first five days after surgery. Under no circumstance should you take more than 4,000 mg. of Tylenol in a 24-hour period.
- Naprosyn: Naprosyn is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID). It is a very effective pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication, but it can cause serious side effects of gastrointestinal bleeding in some people. Unless you have a history of reflux, GI bleeding, an intolerance to NSAIDs or other stomach problems, take 220 mg. of Naprosyn twice a day with food for five days, beginning the day of surgery.
- Breakthrough pain: Your surgeon may have prescribed a breakthrough narcotic pain medicine, such as oxycodone. Medicine like this should be your last option if the Tylenol, naprosyn, ice and elevation aren't working. You may take this medication every four hours if needed for breakthrough pain. Some medicines such as vicoden and percocet contain both a narcotic and Tylenol.
- You can resume your normal diet immediately. If you had general anesthesia, start with light bland meals before progressing to regular food.
When to Call
- Call our office if you spike a fever over 101° F or notice increased redness running up your arm, non-bloody drainage from your wound or an unexpected increase in pain or swelling, as this may signal an infection.
- If you experience serious symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911 immediately.
Call (207) 621-8700 to schedule a follow-up appointment or if you have any questions or problems.