Hand Care .pdf
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The wounds can be moisturised and
massaged twice daily from 10 days
post-operatively. If in the unusual
circumstance that you require sutures
removed or a different wound care
protocol, I will inform you.
You will usually have a follow-up appointment within 1-3 weeks following
your operation to check your wound,
and progress. Please phone my rooms
if you do not already have a followup appointment. Should you have any
problems prior to this please contact
my rooms during working hours or
attend the Emergency Department
at Murdoch Hospital for out of hours
Emergencies (fees apply).
Wash out after 10 days
Remove between 10 - 14 days
Your dressings :
Reduce dressings 2 days, dressings off 10
Leave dressings on until appointment
Hand therapist will advise
Follow-up appointment in :
(please phone my rooms for an appointment if you do not already
have an appointment)
Your guide to
Best wishes for an
ORTHOPAEDIC AND HAND SURGEON
Murdoch Orthopaedic Clinic
100 Murdoch Drive
Murdoch WA 6150
Phone: 08 9311 4636
Fax: 08 9311 4627
POST-OPERATIVE HAND CARE GUIDE
What is happening in my wrist to cause carpal tunnel syndrome?
Your hand is a delicate and finely crafted
piece of equipment designed to perform
many extremely important functions
within your life. Trauma can injure your
hand causing reduced hand function
and pain. It is important that as a patient
not only the best form of medical care is
undertaken but also that post-operative
care by yourself and therapists is carried
out effectively. An elective operation is
also perceived by your hand as an injury
and the same care required of an injured
hand will be necessary.
Affects of injury / operation
Following a hand injury or operation
many changes take place in the hand.
Tissue damage, bleeding and chemicals
released by many cells cause swelling and pain. The swelling is in part an
attempt by the body to heal itself.
The changes taking place in the hand
deliver substances to the tissue required
to heal, and many of the responses of the
body to the injury are beneficial. However, other effects of the body’s response
are counterproductive in the hand and
careful care is required to reduce these
Swelling will cause stiffness in the hand
due to contracture of ligaments and due
to glueing together of tissues that are
meant to glide over each other.
It is much easier to prevent problems associated
with swelling by early treatment and prevention rather than treating the resulting stiffness
later. Swelling is reduced with the use of slings
and sometimes specially designed compression
devices and the hand may be splinted in a position designed to prevent ligament contracture.
Therapy is used to enhance motion and function
in a carefully controlled manner.
Following bone fractures or injuries of some tendons or ligaments the hand may require special
splintage for a number of days or weeks. This
splintage is critical to getting the best result for
your hand and it is important to take my and your
hand therapist’s advice.
Some wounds require extensive and frequent
dressings and others minimal care. We will help
guide your wound care treatment.
to bed even if you are not in discomfort
as your local anaesthetic may wear off
whilst you are asleep. In addition to
making you more comfortable, your
pain killers may allow you to undertake
your hand therapy more effectively.
Your wound and sutures
Virtually all sutures that I use are
absorbable and do not require removal.
Your wound can be uncovered and
washed normally from 10 days after
your operation. Sometimes sutures are
entirely beneath the skin and can be
ignored. Should your sutures be fine
white sutures sticking out all along the
course of your wound, these will fall out
after washing within a few days.
One of the most important determinants of the
results of recovery is your effort and participation in the rehabilitation protocols. It is often the
case that should the rehabilitation undertaken by
a patient be too gentle then stiffness results, but
should the rehabilitation be too aggressive then
the treatment may fail; both of the scenarios offers
significantly less good results.
You should take pain killers (analgesics) to
reduce your discomfort following your operation; these will normally be provided on your
discharge from hospital. Should your operation
have been carried out under a local anaesthetic
it is advisable to take a pain killer before your go
Sling - minimum height
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