Hand injuries can be a simple fracture or as severe as lacerations of tendons and fractures. It’s not sexy to show or talk about tendinitis problems in bulky fit people.
Hand fractures and surgery are different animals than any other injury or surgery.
You can wait months or even years if you have mild pain here and there that gets worse over time. There’s no sense of urgency until that pain becomes more of a problem like you can’t work or sleep.
It’s completely different when you fall, have an accident, and need surgeries.
If you or someone you know had surgery on their hand/wrist, here are three questions we frequently answer:
- When was I supposed to get started in therapy?
- Am I okay to get started even though I still have stitches?
- Is there a specialist I should be looking for to help with my recovery?
One common concern after hand surgery is when to get started.
Most people do wait until their doctor clears them to get started. But this problem usually is therapy sometimes can be an afterthought since the surgery is the primary concern at that time. Not all surgeons work with therapy, or they can simply assume that that person can’t “afford therapy,” so they don’t even bother to make the recommendation.
I only mention that because that’s actually happened to a few of our clients.
Another problem is that there was so much information given at the time of the doctor’s visit that the recommendation for therapy can be lost or forgotten.
It’s not uncommon for us to get started with a client after hand/wrist surgery one month after they were supposed to get started!
A great question to ask is, “Based on the type of injury and surgery, what is the protocol for me to get started?”
Are you okay to get started even with stitches?
The answer is YES! For certain inquiries with tendons, the best time to get started is on day 3-5 after surgery, so the stitches should still be in at that point. To wait is to risk complications like scar adhesions and possibly even another surgery.
Some injuries wound care is needed to make progress in therapy! For example, we had a case where our client came in with both hands injured, and one wound was so deep we needed to clean it and promote the healing so that the hand had a chance to start moving!
Is there a specialist I should be looking for to help with my recovery?
When you have a hand injury, you don’t go to a general surgeon or one that does a lot of knee surgeries. Instead, you want to find the best hand surgeon in your area!
The same is true for hand therapy.
Look for a Certified Hand Therapist. Ensure you are working with an occupational therapist, not an aide or assistant.
We had a client who was shopping around and even went to another clinic for the first time after he had 2 hand surgeries. It was a saw injury cutting tendons and nerves. When he went to another clinic for the first time, they unwrapped him and barely did anything, wrapped him back up, and said come back in 2 weeks.
He was already waiting six weeks after his first surgery and two weeks after his 2nd surgery.
Inexperience with hand or wrist injuries will be more costly for clients in time and money in the long run. Not to mention – more pain.
Accidents happen all day. Everyday.
Hand injures are one of the most painful injures that we treat. But some techniques can ease your hand and get you great results.
If you have suffered a hand injury or surgery, give us a call and request to speak with our Miami certified hand therapist. It never hurts to ask questions.
We want to work with proactive people and want to ask questions! We get the best results for our clients when they are as committed as us.
If you are wondering what’s possible for your hand injury, Request to Speak to Our Specialist Today.
Written by Hoang Tran
About the author – Hoang Tran
Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her Miami occupational therapy is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care.
If you are struggling with hand and wrist pain, including
or any other hand, elbow or neck injuries, speak with one of our specialists for FREE by signing up for a 30-minute Discovery Visit here! Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.
In these difficult times, we are here to help. Telehealth and online sessions are available!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.