Hand Surgery Recovery: What to Expect

While taken for granted at times, the significance of the human hands cannot be overemphasized.

Typical day-to-day-activities like working, dressing, drinking, creating art, etc. becomes highly challenging without functioning hands.

Unfortunately, overuse, trauma, and injuries can often result to hand problems.

Treatment interventions for hand problems can range from conventional approaches to orthopaedic hand surgery.

Essentially, the chosen treatment intervention will depend primarily on the severity of the condition.

While not all conditions will require surgery, in certain scenarios, it is considered the best treatment recourse available.

For orthopaedic hand surgery candidates, the following are the typical and expected post-surgery scenarios:

Hand Surgery Recovery

Tendon Repair

Tendon ruptures in the hand or wrist rarely occur.

Most cases of tendon ruptures however are caused by rheumatoid arthritis or some other types of inflammatory arthritis.


In most cases, full healing of the repaired tendons can be expected in at least 6 weeks. Using the affected hand is prohibited until healing is complete.

Using a splint might be recommended in some cases.

This is done to help guarantee the tendons are protected while the healing process is ongoing.

Carpal Tunnel Release

When there is pressure on the median nerve, carpal tunnel syndrome is most likely to develop.

Common indicators of the condition include numbness and pain.

Surgery might be recommended in some cases to take the pressure off the median nerve.


Patients are required to wear a bandage on the hand or wrist for at least a week or two after the procedure.

After 10 to 14 days, the stitches will be removed.

While the thumb and fingers can already be used, performing heavy tasks is still prohibited.

To help guarantee the tendons and the nerve will not be caught up in a scar tissue, patients are encouraged to move the fingers.

Fortunately, most patients recover in a month or less.

It will take much longer however to get any feelings back in the hand.

Although some people can experience post-surgery scar pain and sensitivity, the ache and sensitivity will eventually go away without requiring any treatment.


Characterized by a tissue formed in the fingers or in the palm, this condition is not painful but might result to bands that can cause the fingers to curl.

Surgery will be required to release the fingers and remove the tissue.

Fortunately, staying in the hospital will not be necessary and patients can go home a few hours after the procedure.


In 2 to 3 weeks, the skin will be fully healed.

However, most patients will have to wait for at least 12 weeks to be able to make full use of their hands again.

After the surgery, movement of the hand will be monitored.

Patient will also be taught hand exercises.

While not required in all cases, using a night splint might be recommended.

Knuckle Replacement (MCP Joint)

The condition has been known to not only reduce hand function but it can also lead to deformity and damage when left unattended.

The condition is also known to be very painful.

Surgery is considered the best treatment intervention when moving the hands becomes highly challenging.

The operation is also carried out to significantly reduce the pain and enhance finger positioning.


After the surgery, rehabilitation will not commence immediately.

The patient will still be required to rest the hand for at least a few days.

Once rehabilitation starts, exercises designed to move the fingers will be taught.

In some cases, wearing a splint will be recommended.

Wearing a splint at night is also considered helpful in some cases.

Patients will also be given instructions on ways to take good care of the new artificial joints.