Preparing to Recover From Hand Surgery

Hand Surgerypic
Hand Surgery
Image: webmd.com

For the past several years, Anthony Perrone, MD, has provided plastic and reconstructive surgery for congenital issues, oncologic processes, and traumatic injuries. Holding an MD from Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. Anthony Perrone serves as chief plastic surgeon at Maine General Medical Center, where he performs hand and upper extremity surgery.

Since you need to reduce hand movement for several weeks after a hand surgery, you must plan ahead for the procedure. This includes arranging your home so chairs and items are easily accessible and labeling belongings that are heavy to help you remember what you should and shouldn’t lift. Further, prepare your meals in disposable bakeware before surgery so you can reheat them without straining your hand and get plenty of straws in case you struggle with lifting mugs or cups.

Beyond preparing your home, recovering from hand surgery requires a few lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking and elevating the hand. Limiting stress through exercise, yoga, or socialization also helps the hand heal faster. However, you should check with your physician before engaging in any physical activity to ensure it is safe.

Finally, always follow post-operative instructions. Through these, you will learn how to avoid stiffness in your hand and see a rough guide for how long the recovery process is for your specific injury. Depending on the type of hand surgery you’ve had, the recovery process may take six to 14 weeks or longer. After that, you may have to wait another six months to fully regain strength and movement.

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Types of Hand Surgery

Anthony Perrone
Anthony Perrone MD

Dr. Anthony Perrone studied for his MD at Dartmouth Medical School and serves as the chief plastic surgeon in the Department of General Surgery at Maine General Medical Center in Augusta. Over the years, he has held plastic surgeon positions at such institutions as Tufts University and Harvard University. Although he handles a wide range of procedures, Anthony Perrone, MD, is particularly skilled in hand surgery. There are several different types of hand surgery that are performed based on the underlying problem that must be addressed. Below are just some of these different types:

Tendon repair. The tendons are responsible for attaching muscle to bone. They can become damaged due to trauma, spontaneous rupture, or infection. Tendon repairs are divided into three categories based on how soon the procedure is performed. Primary repairs occur within 24 hours of an injury while delayed primary repair is performed within a few days. Secondary repairs are done two to five weeks after the injury.

Carpal tunnel release. Often caused by repetitive movements, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the carpal tunnel ligament and bones at the hand’s base become inflamed. The pressure being placed on these nerves can be relieved through a carpal tunnel release procedure. As a result, movement and blood flow within the hand is improved.

Ganglion cyst removal. Ganglion cysts can form in the wrist and hand when synovial fluid, a thick fluid that helps joints move slowly, leaks out of joint and tendons. These cysts feel firm when they are pressed and are often found on the back of the wrist. In certain cases, the cysts will go away spontaneously. However, if they become painful or limit hand movement, surgical drainage or removal may be required.