Post Hand Surgery Information Sheet

Pain relief and Anaesthetic

  • Local anaesthetic has been injected around the site of the operation; this area & the nearby fingers will remain numb for up to 10 hours after surgery
  • Please take some pain relief early, before the effect of the anaesthetic wears off. Take this regularly for the next few days

Swelling & Stiffness

  • Elevation of the hand will prevent swelling and stiffness
  • Please do not walk with your hand dangling or sit with your hand in your lap for the next week or two
  • Use a sling for today and tomorrow if you feel it is comfortable
  • After this, It is fine to lower your hand to use it for light activity and elevate it at other times
  • Normal light activities are good for your hand 


  • The dressing may be removed at 7 days after surgery
  • There will be some bruising and swelling
  • Once the dressings are removed it is safe to get the hand wet in the bath or shower, pat gently dry
  • If the skin is dry then briefly immerse the whole hand in warm water with a small amount of baby oil
  • The stitches are dissolving and should fall after 2-3 weeks


  • The scar can be massaged when healed – usually beginning about 2 weeks
    • Use a plain, unscented moisturizer, Vitamin E cream or Bio-oil type product
    • 5 minutes twice a day
  • Once healed the scar may become lumpy, firm, tender and pink
  • With massage this should settle over 3 – 6 months


  • You cannot drive in a splint
  • Otherwise you may drive if you are comfortable and have regained FULL finger movements and are COMFORTABLE to control the vehicle with sufficient power 

Things to watch out for…

    • Increasing pain, swelling, redness, discharge from the wound
    • Persistent change of sensation in an area of the hand once the local anaesthetic wears off
    • Scars that despite massage become progressively more swollen and tender, itchy and red
    • Worsening pain, out of proportion to what you expect


  • Help with swelling and stiffness
  • Should be performed every 4 hours during the day until the hand is back to normal

Want to make an Appointment or have an Questions?

You may have some specific questions around procedures, treatments, appointments, timeframes or costs. Contact Dr Rebecca Ayers using the form on the contact page.

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