For the first several days it is important to keep the operated hand elevated, trying to keep it between the ceiling and your heart. At night, the hand can be placed on pillows on your chest, on pillows out to the side, or in front of you as you lie on your other side.
If you have problems or questions after this surgery, please call the Cedar Valley Hand Surgery office, 319-364-2697. Whenever possible, please call during normal office hours.
Finger motion exercises should be continued. Once again, it is the distance that the fingers travel that is important, not how fast they move. Active exercises using your own muscle power should be done to straighten and bend the fingers as far as possible. Stretching exercises, using your other hand to gently bend and straighten the operated finger or thumb should also be done.
Repetitious or forceful activity needs to be avoided. Use of the hand is encouraged, but not for forceful gripping or heavy tool use.
Lotion massage into the scar should be started three days after the sutures have been removed. This should be done for 3 to 5 minutes twice daily, using any type of standard hand lotion. This will help soften the scar, resolve swelling, and retrain nerve endings. Lotion massage should be continued for several months after surgery in this fashion, or until the scar no longer looks red.
Motion exercises should also be continued until complete range of motion is reached. Activity can be progressively increased as long as swelling or pain do not worsen. Full, unrestricted activity is usually possible by 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
updated DEC 2008
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