Why Are My Fingers Swollen After Wrist Surgery?

One common challenge during hand surgery recovery is managing swelling in the fingers. This article will discuss what to expect during the hand surgery recovery process, including how to reduce swelling and promote healing. 

If you’re experiencing persistent swelling or discomfort after hand surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist for help. For specialized care in Marietta or Atlanta, Georgia, schedule an appointment with Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you regain function and mobility in your hand, shoulder, and elbow.

A patient with swollen fingers after her wrist surgery in Atlanta, GA.

What Should I Expect During My Hand Surgery Recovery Period?

It is common to experience swollen fingers after wrist surgery. Your hand specialist will prescribe pain medications to help manage any discomfort you may feel during your recovery. During the first few days after surgery, you may need to keep your hand elevated above your heart to reduce swelling. Applying ice packs to the swollen area can also help.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength and movement in your hand and fingers. Physical therapy exercises can also help reduce swelling and improve blood circulation, which aids in wound healing.

Wound care is essential for proper healing. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your wound, including keeping it clean and dry. Orthopedic surgeons are experts in hand surgery and will closely monitor your recovery progress. They may adjust your treatment plan as needed to ensure the best outcome.

It’s essential to take care of your overall health during recovery. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest will help support your immune system and promote healing.

If you experience severe pain or notice any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or warmth around the surgical site, contact your doctor immediately.

What Should I Wear After Hand Surgery?

After hand surgery, it’s essential to wear the right clothing to support your recovery. Loose-fitting clothing, like button-up shirts and sweatpants, are best because they’re easy to put on and take off without putting too much strain on your hand.

For specific hand surgeries, like trigger finger release, your doctor may recommend wearing a splint to support your finger and limit finger movement. Splints help protect your finger as it heals and prevent it from moving in ways that could cause further injury after trigger finger surgery.

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how long you need to wear the splint and when you can start moving your finger again. It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and prevent any complications.

How Can I Reduce Swelling After Hand Surgery?

After hand surgery, it’s common to experience swelling, but there are ways to minimize swelling in your hands. One simple method is to use an ice pack. You can make an ice pack by putting some ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrapping it in a towel. Then, gently place the ice pack on the swollen area for about 15-20 minutes at a time.

Elevating your arm to the level of your heart for the first 24 to 48 hours can help the swelling as well. You can elevate the arm with pillows on the couch or in the bed.

Taking your pain medication as prescribed by your doctor can also help reduce swelling by minimizing discomfort. Additionally, keeping your hand elevated above your heart whenever possible can help minimize swelling.

Following these steps can help reduce swelling, reduce pain, and make you feel more comfortable as you recover from the surgery performed.

What Should I Avoid During My Hand Surgery Healing Process?

During hand surgery recovery, it’s essential to avoid certain things to help the healing process go smoothly. Firstly, try to avoid putting too much stress on your hand. Heavy lifting or strenuous activities can slow down healing and increase swelling.

Smoking can also interfere with the healing process, so it’s best to avoid smoking during your recovery.

Additionally, try to minimize life stress as much as possible. Stress can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to heal.

Lastly, avoid removing any bandages or splints without your doctor’s approval. These help protect your hand and promote healing, so it’s essential to keep them in place until your doctor says it’s okay to remove them.

Schedule a Visit with Our Hand Surgeon

Recovering from hand surgery and reducing swelling in the fingers requires patience and careful attention to your body’s needs. By following your doctor’s recommendations, including proper wound care, using ice packs, and taking pain medication as prescribed, you can help minimize swelling and discomfort during your recovery. 

If you’re experiencing persistent swelling or discomfort after hand surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. Our experienced team of orthopedic specialists in Marietta and Atlanta, GA, is here to help you on your road to recovery. Book your consultation today!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Randall Alexander

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