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Injuries to the upper extremity may involve a variety of bones, tendons, nerves, or other tissues in the area. While some conditions or injuries may heal on their own, treatment is often necessary to regain optimal function of the area. Before recommending surgery, your reconstructive hand surgeon will first consider more conservative treatment options, but if these do not provide enough improvement, surgery may be necessary.

To help you prepare for your hand or arm surgery, we have provided information about the consultation process as well as what you can expect during the post-operative period.

Open communication between you and your doctor is essential for achieving the best possible outcome. If you have any questions about your upper extremity procedure, please feel free to contact us.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

Depending on your injury or condition, you may have tests such as EMGs or imaging studies such as x-rays or MRIs that were ordered by other doctors or from the Emergency Room. You should obtain copies of the IMAGES as well as any reports that are available whenever possible. This will assist your surgeon in evaluating you in a timely manner. If you have any difficulty getting these records, please call the office and we will help. You should also be aware of your medical history to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure and nothing will interfere with your recovery. This includes current medications, other conditions, treatments, and allergies to any medications.

The consultation is the best time to ask any questions you may have so your doctor can help you understand what to expect throughout your surgical treatment. It can also help to bring a friend or family member for support.

Post-Op Care Instructions

Recovery from upper extremity surgery will vary based on the specifics of your procedure. However, the following details and instructions are common in many of our hand surgeries.

Pain Management

To keep you as comfortable as possible, you will be prescribed pain medication to help control any pain or discomfort you have after surgery. We usually recommend a combination of over-the-counter pain medication and prescription medication to maximize your pain control and minimize any potential side effects. Before your surgery, your doctor will make sure you understand how often and the amount of the medication that is safe to take. Please take your prescription as directed. While you are taking the medication, you should refrain from driving, drinking alcohol, making big decisions, or taking other pain medications, unless otherwise told by your doctor.

Hand Therapy

After your hand surgery, you will most likely need to limit movement of the treated area for weeks. Once the hand or arm has healed enough to begin therapy, your doctor will refer you to a certified hand therapist to begin regular therapy. The area may feel stiff and weak at first, but with therapy you should regain strength and proper function of the hand. This is often a critical step in your recovery, and your final post-operative results will ultimately depend on your commitment to therapy.

We look forward to your visit at the Institute for Hand Surgery. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

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