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tedibear's avatar

What advice do you have for someone having hand surgery?

Asked by tedibear (19267points) July 31st, 2022

My husband is having surgery for Dupuytren’s contractures on Tuesday. It’s his left hand, which is a tiny bit easier as he is right handed.

I plan to make and peel some hard boiled eggs, and make him a wrap for lunch each day before I go to work. I also know he needs to “stay ahead of the pain” and take his meds on time.

Any thoughts you have are greatly appreciated!

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5 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Also maintain fluids.

Do what the doctor says to do.

I would think elevated and ice packs would help too. Watch for redness and swelling at surgery site, it maybe an infection.

Pandora's avatar

He may want to sleep sitting in a recliner for the first few nights if he tends to move in his sleep and his hand isn’t kept safe in a cast or brace of some type.
Avoid opioids if possible beyond the second day. Try tylenol 800.

People are also often in a rush to get better sooner and can overdo it. Remind him often, that rushing can ruin the desired results. Do only as the doctor has directed.
He may need some help bathing the other side of his body for a while, but he should be able to dress, and go to the bathroom . Oh, maybe get him some elastic waist pants in the meanwhile. He may have trouble with buttoning his pants for a while because its hard to hold the pants up and over, while using the other hand to button up.

SnipSnip's avatar

This surgery has been done for over a hundred years. I know two men who have had it and gotten great relief and return of function. Like so many surgeries the worst part may be taking care of it while showering. The doctor/facility will give you good post-op instructions. I would discontinue any blood-thinning drugs or vitamins and not smoke for a week prior to surgery.

I’ve had surgery on both of my hands but for a different problem.

Jeruba's avatar

One thing I can tell you: it’s a two-handed world. I learned that at 16 with a broken left wrist. Thought I’d be okay because I was right-handed.

I’ve had carpal tunnel releases on both hands and surgery a few years ago for a fractured right wrist. Here are some points that occur to me:

1. Follow the doctor’s instructions. If the doc says keep it elevated for three days, keep it elevated for three days. I slept with my right forearm on a pillow.

2. It took me 45 minutes just to prepare for a shower (plastic bags and tape, two layers) and another 45 to shower.

3. Shampoo: I placed a plastic teaspoon on the shower caddy. At shampoo time, I held the handle between my teeth and poured shampoo into it, and then poured it on my head and shampooed with one hand.

4. If your doctor prescribes hand therapy, do whatever the therapist tells you, and practice at home.

5. Walk carefully. Watch your balance. One-handed is not half as good as two-handed if you stumble. Do try not to break anything else while recuperating from the surgery.

6. Yes, you will probably have arthritis there later on. I sure do. My right hand wakes up about an hour later than the rest of me.

7. For pill reminders, a kitchen timer and a list to check off are always helpful to me.

tedibear's avatar

Thank you all for your helpful answers! He is recovering well. His stitches come out next week and he will have PT to do based on the doctor’s recommendations.

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