Post-Surgical Care

General Rules

I will give you specific advice depending on the hand surgery performed

The following advice usually applies to most hand / wrist operations:



ELEVATE  the hand above the level of the heart. The arm is initially placed in a Bradford sling whilst in hospital and then changed to a polysling. Keep the hand elevated most of the time for the first 3-4 days, and at night place it on top of several pillows. Elevation reduces excessive swelling and thus prevents stiffness.



MOVE the fingers as much as possible after hand surgery. Fully extend and flex them within limits of pain. Light use (dress yourself / feed yourself etc) is encouraged. Avoid heavy lifting.



Bandages and Plasters/Splints

If you have a bulky dressing applied after surgery this is usually reduced after 5 days. The  wound should be kept clean and dry – a light dressing will be provided to cover it.

If you have had a plaster applied after surgery, this is usually changed after 3-4 days to a lightweight splint. Keep the plaster/splint dry; if it is damaged then get in touch as you may need a new one.



Hand Therapy

I will usually advise you regarding getting in touch with our Hand Therapist.



Post-Operative Appointments

I will usually see all patients who have had a plaster applied post-operatively (eg Dupuytren’s surgery, Wrist or scaphoid fractures) around 3-5 days in order to change it to a more definitive lightweight splint. If you have had Dupuytren’s surgery I will ask you to see the hand therapist  a few days after surgery for  a thermoplastic custom made splint.

Most other patients are seen at 2 weeks post-op for wound checks / removal of sutures.


If you have any concerns after surgery please  do not hesitate to get in touch with me either via my secretary or via Parkside Hospital.