General Post-Operative Instructions for Dupuytren's Contracture
What to Expect:
The local anesthetic that was injected into your hand and forearm will make your hand feel numb for 8-12 hours.
You will have a moderate amount of pain for the first 3-4 days; this should be adequately addressed by the oral narcotic pain medication that was prescribed when you left the day surgery suite: (Vicodin or Oxycodone). The usual dose of an anti-inflammatory such as Advil is recommended at the same time you are taking the pain medication (unless you have a history of ulcers).
Other measures that are helpful in relieving pain include elevating the hand on a few pillows and draping a plastic bag filled with crushed ice over the splint and dressing (place a dish towel or small hand towel over your arm first so the dressing doesn't get wet). You may ice your fingers and hand for up to 20 minutes per one hour period.
Severe pain is unusual after this procedure. If you experience this, please contact us as we may need to see you sooner than the scheduled appointment.
The First Five Days:
Keep your hand elevated as much as possible (prop it up on a couple of pillows). When lying on your back if you place your hand on a pillow you can put your hand inside the pillow case so that your hand will not fall off of the pillow.
Keep the dressing dry. Put a plastic bag over your forearm and hand when showering. Leave the surgical dressing on until you return to the office for your follow-up visit.
Do not lift anything heavy. Gentle finger movement is to be encouraged. Do not grip or twist anything, this could cause your sutures to break or it could cause bleeding.
If you experience any worrisome symptoms such as a fever higher than 101.5 degrees or markedly increased pain, contact the office during normal office hours. If it is after business hours and you need to reach the doctor on-call you may call our main number:(503)214-5200 and this will put you in contact with the doctor on-call.
Gentle finger movement prevents stiffness: this should consist of flexing and extending the fingers. You may use your hand for light activities such as eating, dressing and typing. These light activities should be limited to short periods of time,(a few minutes).
Schedule a post-operative appointment for 3-5 days after the surgery for dressing removal (appointment desk (503)-214-5255). At this visit your dressing will be removed and a lighter one will be applied. Your sutures will not be removed at his time, and you will need to make another follow-up appointment two weeks out from your surgery date. After your first post-surgery visit you may get your hand wet and rinse it with water (but do not soak your hand). Continue with light hand exercises, but keep in mind that when exercising you may experience some bleeding points. This is normal as long as it is not excessive bleeding. If bleeding occurs cover with a light gauze dressing.
When you return 2 weeks after surgery your sutures will be removed and you may be given a prescription for hand therapy, if it is recommended for your recovery.