Things To Expect After A Hand Surgery In Singapore

Image of a hand in bandage

Hand surgery in Singapore is typically considered the last resort to treat conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Trigger Finger, Arthritis, tendinopathies, ligament issues and more, if conservative treatments prove to not be effective in relieving symptoms. 


Going through any kind of surgery is often considered a major event so it is understandable to feel nervous and worried. While your hand surgeon will help you prepare for the surgery to the best of his or her ability, there are some things to take note of on your end to make the recovery process easier. 


What to expect after a hand surgery?


Mild to moderate pain is expected after a hand surgery, as with any other kind of surgery on other parts of the body. However, rest assured that your hand surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help you alleviate any discomfort. 


Apart from medications, here are some other things you may be told to expect following a hand surgery


  • Your hand may be immobilised in a bulky dressing or splint


Your hand will be wrapped in bandages after the surgery and a splint may be added for extra protection. Your hand surgeon will decide how long the immobilisation is needed but take note that it varies according to each individual’s condition and needs. 


  • There may be restrictions in place


Your surgeon may place restrictions on activities and work after the hand surgery, and it is advisable to follow them down to a T to prevent any unwarranted side effects or slowing down of the recovery process. Again, the type of restrictions and duration vary on an individual basis.


  • Rehabilitation may be recommended


It is not uncommon for surgeons to prescribe rehabilitation for patients after a hand surgery so there is no need to fret if you have to go through the same thing. Rehabilitation is recommended to increase range of motion, strength and eventually function in the hand. This includes doing occupational therapy tailored according to each individual. 


  • Recovery time varies


Your surgeon may give you a timeframe for your recovery process but it is important to use that only as a guide and not a definitive answer. Everybody heals at a different rate so there is no need to feel discouraged if you recover slower than others who have gone through the same hand surgery. Nonetheless, feel free to reach out to a hand specialist in Singapore should you need to clarify any doubts or require further medical attention. 


Hand surgeon wrapping hand with a bandage


Other than what is mentioned above, self-care after a hand surgery is equally important and should be taken seriously to expedite the recovery process while making yourself feel as comfortable as possible. 


Here are some tips:


  • Keep your dressings clean and dry


Wrap your hand with plastic before showering to prevent your bandages from getting wet. If you accidentally get your dressings wet, make an appointment with your doctor to get them changed. It is not recommended to remove or change them yourself.  


  • Elevate your hand


Elevating your hand after the surgery minimises swelling and pain while the movement prevents stiffness. Simply raise your hand above heart level to do so. 


  • Take your medications as prescribed


It is not advisable to wait for the anaesthesia to wear off before you take your pain medications. You should start your prescribed medications as soon as you get home to help manage pain. 


  • Do your therapy exercises


You do not have to wait for your next hand therapy session before you start exercising your hand again. Simple hand exercises at home as recommended by your hand surgeon should be done regularly to restore movement and flexibility as soon as possible. 


Reach out to our hand specialist, Dr Jacqueline, at Advanced Hand Centre if you have any queries regarding hand surgery and the recovery process.