Instructions for After Surgery
Instructions for after Depuytren's Surgery:
Elevation, Motion, and Use
Elevation of the hand is very important after Dupuytren’s surgery. The hand should be kept at a level that is higher than your heart in order to cause fluid to drain from the hand. This is very important to prevent swelling as a swollen hand will be painful, and it will also become stiff. After the splint is removed at the first postoperative visit, a range of motion program will be started and light use for activities such as eating, dressing and personal care. Driving is allowed once you feel strong enough to safely grip the steering wheel.
Do not change the bandages or splint after surgery until the first post operative visit with Dr. Miller. If the palm has been left open, instructions on how to change the bandage will be given at that time. The bandages must also be kept dry. Showering should be done with a large plastic bag over the hand and arm, securely taped just below the shoulder. By keeping the hand fully elevated, it is possible to take a brief shower without getting the bandages wet.
After an operation that has been done under a local anaesthetic, or local anaesthetic with sedation, it is common to experience numbness and tingling in the hand for eight to ten hours or longer. A prescription for a pain reliever will be given to you after the surgery and we recommend that you fill the prescription, although frequently only one or two pills will be necessary. The most important aspect of pain relief after hand surgery is strict elevation of the hand.
Stitches and Scar Management
Stitches are usually removed ten to fifteen days after hand surgery. A scar massage program is then begun, using Vitamin E oil, briskly rubbed into the scar for five minutes, twice a day. The oil may be purchased without a prescription, it is also fine to use the oil from a capsule of Vitamin E. The massage program is continued for at least one month. A thickened and tender scar will frequently develop four weeks after carpal tunnel surgery. You will notice pain primarily with direct pressure on the scar that will slowly resolve over several months.