Five Ways to Maximise Recovery After Hand Surgery
If you or a loved one are planning on having hand tendon surgery, there are several ways you can maximise the recovery process at home. Surgery that involves the hands is difficult because it takes away the ability to grip for a period of time post-surgery. When your recovery is complete, having the full use of your hands will be worth any pain and suffering experienced during or after surgery. The following steps can help ensure that your hand strength returns sooner rather than later.
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1. Follow the doctor’s orders. Your doctor wants your surgery to be a success, but they won?t be able to do everything for you. Part of fixing your condition is taking care of yourself after the surgery, and you should take the time to clarify any confusion about the post-op instructions. You don?t want to assume that taking a certain action is okay, when in fact, it will lengthen the recovery of your hand. Although some of the instructions may seem unnecessary, there is a reason for the suggestions, and you would be wise to explicitly follow the advice of your doctor. If the doctor recommends you avoid driving for a certain time, it is due to a concern for your safety. If they advise you to avoid showering for a period of time, it may be because showering is a high-risk activity and you could easily lose your balance. Ask your doctor about specific concerns you may have, and they should be able to explain the reasoning.
2. Eat well. Your body gets all of its nutrients from the foods you eat, and it will need healthy food after surgery. A new diet won?t be necessary, however, certain foods are superior to others during the recovery process. Proteins are essential to recovering muscle tissue, and probiotics help the immune system operate efficiently. Foods high in fiber and vitamins are also beneficial to fueling all of the body?s needs, so be sure to eat fruits, vegetables, and yogurt. Avoid salty meals post-surgery, including sports drinks. Although sodium helps the body stay hydrated, it can increase swelling, and sugar can cause fatigue and malaise.
3. Go to your follow-up appointment with the doctor. This is important even if you feel as though you have completely recovered. The doctor may identify a warning sign that has been overlooked and, in rare cases, more blood work may be needed to test for an infection. Most likely, you will receive a clean bill of health, however, you won?t know until you visit your doctor?s office for your post-op appointment. In the meantime, if you experience any signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or redness around the surgical area, call your doctor?s office immediately.
4. Communicate your problems. After hand surgery, you will need a lot of assistance. It?s normal, and shouldn’t make you feel as though you are a burden on loved ones. It is important to manage your pain levels, to avoid the development of an infection, blood clot, or worse. When the body is stressed, it reacts by using the immune system?s resource center, which will slow the healing process and lengthen recovery. Ask your doctor for help if you are struggling to deal with the pain, or if you have any issues post-surgery. Complications from medications often arise, and your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage to ease discomfort.
5. Stay active. You need to stay active after surgery to maintain good health and keep your blood flowing. It is extremely important that you avoid high-impact activities that may result in falling. Going for a short walk has tremendous benefits for the body, and can help prevent blood clots and lung infections.
Having surgery on your hands is never an easy ordeal and recovery can be a long and tough road. By listening to your body and doctor, you will be well on your way to good health and fully functioning extremities. You may even find that you have adopted a healthier lifestyle during your recovery. Maintaining this will help you avoid any further health complications and post-operative procedures for the duration of your life.