Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Aftercare following hand surgery may include one or more of the following, depending on the specific procedure: oral painkilling medications; anti-inflammatory medications; antibiotics; splinting; traction; special dressings to reduce...
swelling; and heat or massage therapy. Because the hand is a very sensitive part of the body, the patient may experience severe pain for several days after surgery. The surgeon may prescribe injections of painkilling drugs to manage the patient's discomfort.
Exercise therapy is an important part of aftercare for most patients who are recovering from hand surgery. A rehabilitation hand specialist will demonstrate exercises for the hand, instruct the patient in proper wound care, massage the hand and wrist, and perform an ongoing assessment of the patient's recovery of strength and range of motion in the hand.
There are several bones in the wrist joint and trauma to this area can cause one of a number of wrist and arm fractures. One of the most common types of wrist fracture, called a Colles fracture, is discussed as well one way to treat the fracture.
The field of hand surgery deals with both surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions and problems that may take place in the hand or upper extremity (commonly from the tip of the hand to the shoulder). Hand surgery may be practiced by graduates of general surgery, orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons and orthopedic surgeons receive significant training in hand surgery during their residency training, with some graduates continuing on to do an additional one year hand fellowship. These fellowships are sometimes also pursued by general surgeons. Plastic surgeons are particularly well suited to handle traumatic hand and digit amputations that require a "replant" operation. Plastic surgeons are trained to reconstruct all aspects to salvage the appendage: blood vessels, nerves, tendons, muscle, bone. Orthopedic surgeons are particularly well suited to handle complex fractures of the hand and injuries to the carpal bones that alter the mechanics of the wrist. Hand surgeons perform a wide variety of operations such as fracture repairs, nerve decompressions, releases, transfer and repairs of tendons and reconstruction of injuries, rheumatoid deformities and congenital defects.
Orthopedic complaints are the most common reason to seek medical care.
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