What to Expect When Recovering From Hand Surgery

Recovery is an important part of any kind of surgical procedure, including any part of the body. Recovery and care needs will vary significantly between different kinds of surgery, and a good example here is those who are recovering from hand surgery.

At The Orthopaedic Center, we’re here to offer a wide range of orthopedic surgery services to Tulsa and nearby clients, including hand and wrist procedures plus many others like shoulder, knee, hip and more. What should you expect during recovery from hand surgery, including some preparation elements and more? Let’s have a look.

expect recovery hand surgery

Prepping for a Simple Recovery

Just like many other forms of orthopedic or other surgery, the way you go about preparing will often have a significant impact on how simple and straightforward your recovery is. Here are a few simple tips on preparing for hand surgery:

  • Plan the timing in advance: Hand surgery’s initial recovery can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the specific procedure (more on this below). For your own convenience and for the best recovery, it’s therefore important to plan when you’re going to have the surgery in advance.
  • Know what medications you will need: You may be recommended a range of different medications or other treatments that are meant to help speed up your recovery process. Make sure that you know these ahead of time so that you can make sure you have them ready.
  • Ask about activities and lifestyle changes: You may be asked to make some temporary changes in your lifestyle or even just daily activities during the recovery process. Make sure that you know what these are so that you can plan accordingly.
  • Pet and home preparation: If you have pets at home, you may need to make some preparations in advance. Make sure that your pet is safe and secure during the recovery period.
  • Arrange for help: In some cases, you may need to arrange for help during your recovery period. This could be a family member, friend or even professional caregiver.

Typical Hand Surgery Recovery Timelines

As we touched on above, the recovery timeline for hand surgery will vary significantly between different kinds of procedures. Generally speaking, many patients are able to return to their normal level of activities in a matter of weeks or a few months at the maximum. The specific recovery time will be determined by:

  • The severity and type of injury or condition being treated
  • Whether other treatments have already been attempted
  • The type of procedure that needs to be done

In most cases, the recovery period will involve some initial rest and then a gradual return to normal activities. The specific time frame will depend on what kind of surgery was done and how successful the treatment was. It’s always best to consult your orthopedic surgeon for more details and advice on what you can expect during your recovery period.

Swelling Reduction

One key element that’s involved in most kinds of hand surgery recovery is the reduction of swelling. While some bruising and pain around the surgical site is to be expected and is normal with any surgery, swelling can be reduced through a few different means, including:

  • Ice therapy – This involves using cold compresses or an ice pack on the affected area to reduce any swelling and pain.
  • Mobilization – This involves simple exercises that are designed to improve your range of motion in the affected area or limb.
  • Rest and elevation – Keeping the affected area elevated can help to reduce swelling. Rest is also important to help speed up your recovery process.
  • Loosening your wrappings: If you have been given a wrap over your surgical site after surgery, you can very carefully unwrap the bandage and re-wrap more loosely.

Lifestyle Choices

After any kind of surgery, including hand surgery, it’s important to make sure that you’re making the right lifestyle choices during your recovery period. This includes eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest. All of these elements can help to speed up your recovery process and ensure that you’re back to your normal activities sooner rather than later.

For instance, having enough rest can help to ensure that the body has time to heal itself, while regular exercise and healthy eating can help to improve your overall health. It’s also important to avoid any activities or habits that could potentially worsen the condition in any way.

Following Surgeon Directions

One of the single most important parts of any kind of surgery recovery is to make sure that you’re following your surgeon’s instructions. This can include things like taking medications as prescribed, keeping the injury clean and dry, avoiding strenuous activities and getting plenty of rest. By following these directions, you can help to ensure that your procedure has a successful outcome and that you’re back to your normal activities in no time.


Finally, make sure that you’ve got all the necessary supplies on hand and that you’re aware of any warning signs or symptoms that could indicate a problem during your recovery process. This can include things like persistent pain, swelling or redness around the area. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately and follow their instructions.

By following the above tips, you can help to ensure that your hand surgery recovery goes smoothly and safely. It’s important to remember that recovery times will vary between different procedures, so talk to your doctor for more specific advice on what to expect during your own particular recovery process.

For more here, or to learn about any of our orthopedic surgery procedures or services, speak to our caring staff at The Orthopaedic Center today.

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