Like other body parts, the hands are not immune to medical conditions and physical damage. As such, they can incur acute and chronic injuries due to impact or overuse. In addition, the hands can also be directly affected by the symptoms of musculoskeletal and immune conditions, cardiovascular disorders, and nerve injuries, among other health concerns.
Often, a person with these conditions will need to undergo hand surgery in order to regain or maintain the functionality of their hands and eliminate the pain that may accompany the use of the limb. They can be subjected to closed reduction and fixation if they have a fracture, tendon repair to attach muscle to bone, nerve repair to address nerve damage, or joint replacement to alleviate the issues caused by severe arthritis. If a hand becomes a site of infection, it can also be drained and debrided. After these procedures, a person must rest their hands completely so that they can fully heal.
Making a Smoother Recovery after Hand Surgery
Losing the use of one’s hands, even if just temporarily, is a great challenge that should be met with detailed preparation before the surgery takes place. Here are some of the things you need to do to make the recovery process less of a hassle for you and your household.
Set Up a Reliable Support System
Depending on your living conditions and recovery plan, you may need the assistance of another person to make sure that your needs and that of your household are attended to. This is especially true if you have young children or pets that might need more hands-on supervision from an adult at home. Perhaps you can involve your family members in planning how to run your household while you’re recovering and your hand still has limited movement. It’s also an option to get professional household help even just for a short period.
Arrange a Method of Transportation
Your hand will be immobilised for a few days after the surgery, which means that you have to rely on someone else to drive you from the hospital to your home once you’ve been discharged. The good news is that it’s easy to get transportation services instantly in Singapore through the use of apps and mobile services like Grab. Taxis, ridesharing and carpooling services, and public transportation systems in the country offer a hassle-free way of getting to and from your destination while you’re still recovering.
Find Safe Ways to Bathe and Groom Yourself
It can be difficult to thoroughly bathe and groom yourself if you have limited use of your hands, more so if your recovering hand must not come in contact with water. You will likely need to cover the hand that underwent surgery with a waterproof protector while bathing or showering. If it’s an option, practice how to do this prior to the surgery so you can identify issues that may compromise your safety and balance or accidentally expose your hand to liquids.
Plan Your Meals Following the Surgery
Cooking is an activity that often makes full use of a person’s hands. After the surgery, you might find it difficult to prepare even simple dishes at home, given that your hand will be rendered immobile for a few days. Still, you’ll need to eat well to recover quickly. If you don’t have anyone who can cook for your household, you likely have to depend on food delivery services or buy microwaveable food options from convenience stores and groceries.
Purchase Supplies and Loose Clothes in Advance
The site of the surgery must be properly maintained to promote its quick healing. Before the surgery takes place, make sure you have easy access to bandages and other medical supplies that you’ll need. If your hand will be put in a cast or splint, then you must also adjust your clothing choices to accommodate for such circumstances. It’s much easier to wear loose clothes than form-fitting ones if your hand is in a cast. Follow your medical care provider’s instructions for caring for the surgery site to prevent infections that might complicate your recovery process.
Set Yourself Up for a Smooth Rehabilitation Process
Depending on the condition of your hand before and after surgery, you might be required to undergo rehabilitation to maintain the functionality of your palms and digits. Follow the medical practitioner’s instructions down to the letter, including when to start rehabilitation, so you can get the best possible outcome from the surgery. Regaining your hand’s mobility and strength might be a long journey, but putting your all into the recovery process will help you achieve the milestones you and your doctor have set.
The hands are perhaps the one of the most used parts of a person’s body. People depend on their hands to accomplish tasks at home and in the workplace, care for themselves and connect with others, and express themselves fully when trying to communicate a thought or an idea. In times when your hands are injured or afflicted with pain, don’t hesitate to seek medical care and the support of your community. A little help from the people around you can go a long way in enabling you to get back on your feet and regain the full use of your own hands as soon as possible.