Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Questions about

Arora Hand Surgery

Do I need a referral before I can see the hand doctor?
It depends on what type of insurance you have. If your insurance requires a referral before you can see our specialist, contact your primary care provider.

Which insurances do you accept?
We accept most forms of insurance, but contact your insurance provider beforehand to verify eligibility.

Will you send results of my tests to my primary care physician?
We will work hand in hand with you and your primary care physician to ensure the most optimal, realistic, achievable, and comprehensive results.

What kind of elbow, wrist, or hand therapy will I need after surgery?
Dr. Arora considers therapy to be an essential part of recovery in most treatment plans, and we have a hand therapist on staff here who can help patients regain hand strength and function.

While some surgeries have minimal downtime and require very little therapy, others will require therapy for several weeks or even years, such as in the case of replantation.

Hand therapy helps patients regain maximum use of their hands after injury, surgery, or the onset of disease. Treatment is provided by a hand therapist, someone who is first trained as an occupational therapist and then receives additional training in hand therapy.

Hand therapists teach exercises, apply different modalities, and create custom splints to help the hand heal and protect it from additional injury.

Dr. Arora will discuss which exercises are most ideal in your situation.

What are EMG testing and nerve conduction studies? Are they painful? Should I be worried?
Electromyographies (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are diagnostic tests that are performed in order to assess the health of muscles and motor neurons. Motor neurons are the nerves that are responsible for the muscles’ contractions, and damaged or dysfunctional motor neurons can cause health conditions like muscle and nerve disorders.

During the exam, we will monitor the electrical activity that occurs within the muscles at rest and when the muscles are slightly contracted. EMG tests measure the electrical activity within the muscles and can help physicians diagnose any potential problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission, nerve dysfunction, and/or muscle dysfunction.

This diagnostic procedure is performed by placing surface electrodes or inserting needle electrodes in various locations on your body. You may experience a mild twinge or spasm as the electrode delivers an electrical current to the designated area. You may be asked to contract your muscles during the procedure so the physician can monitor the electrical activity generated in your muscles during movement and at rest.

About EMG Testing

What are casts made of?
Casts are typically made of plaster or fiberglass to form the hard, supportive outer layer. Fiberglass is lighter, more durable, and breathes better than plaster, but plaster is less expensive and shapes better than fiberglass.
Both materials are dipped in water to start the setting process. Most casts also have a soft lining of cotton or similar material for padding underneath the hard material.

Learn More About Casts

What is the difference between a brace and a splint?
To make a long story short, a brace is used for a longer term in order to treat a chronic condition or injury, while splints are meant for short-term usage.

Braces are often recommended for those who have experienced a sprain or tear with the occasional means of rehabilitating from a fracture. Splints, on the other hand, are often used to assist the recovery of a bone fracture as well as to help treat sprains.

However, both braces and splints may be applied during a first aid emergency.

What is the difference between an MRI and a CT scan?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. By utilizing a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy, an MRI can create digital imaging of the structures and systems within the body. MRIs are commonly performed to locate and identify a variety of concerns such as an injury, tumor, infection, and more.

CT scan, which is sometimes referred to as a CAT scan, stands for computerized tomography scan. It consolidates various images taken from a standard X-ray and utilizes computer processing to establish cross-sectional imaging of numerous structures within the body including the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissue.

Both can reveal more information about your body than a standard X-ray can.

Learn More about Imaging


When do I need to stop eating prior to my surgery?
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night prior to your surgery. Small sips of water in order to take your pre-approved routine medicine is OK, but no coffee or other liquids.
What kind of anesthesia will I receive before my surgery?
For most surgeries, regional anesthesia is performed by giving a nerve block prior to surgery. This allows for better pain control after surgery. Most surgeries require you to be asleep during the whole procedure, so general anesthesia may also be used during surgery.
What medications do I need to stop taking prior to surgery?
Specific medications to stop will be identified by Dr. Arora prior to surgery, so you’ll know in advance. A general rule of thumb is to stop taking any anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinners, herbal medications, and over-the counter medications.
When am I allowed to exercise again?
Every patient and surgery is different, so please Dr. Arora prior to surgery.


Can I drive home after my surgery?
No. You will need someone to drive you home after surgery due to the medications you are given before and during surgery.
When can I shower?
You may shower 2 days after surgery if you can cover your splint or dressing completely to avoid it from getting wet. Please avoid submerging your splint or dressing in water (such as in a bath tub or pool) for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
What is the best way to manage my pain after surgery?
Arora Hand Surgery uses a multi-modal approach to help manage your pain post surgery. First, we’ll prescribe non-narcotic medications like strong anti-inflammatories and Tylenol (acetaminophen) to manage your pain. Narcotics may be conservatively prescribed as well.
How long should I expect swelling after my surgery?
We want to assure you that swelling is common after surgery. Initial swelling after surgery can be expected to go down significantly in the first few weeks but may one of the final surgery symptoms to 100% resolve. To some degree, you may have light swelling for months after surgery.
Can I take other medications for pain after my surgery?
Although narcotics are conservatively prescribed after surgery for initial acute pain management, it may be recommended by Dr. Arora to replace them with anti-inflammatories like Aleve or ibuprofen. Tylenol (acetaminophen) can also be used together with anti-inflammatories (Aleve or ibuprofen), but should not be used at high doses with narcotics.
How long should I ice after my surgery?
Immediately after surgery, gently ice 4-5 times per day for 20 minutes at a time. Do this for 2 weeks. Icing will help manage your pain and keep inflammation down, so there is no limit to how many times per day you should do it. However, please be sure to limit your icing segments to only 20 minutes per session to prevent damaging your skin. Avoid icing if there is a chance you will fall asleep. If you have a splint or a larger amount of dressing on, you can place your ice over the top, just be sure not to get the splint or dressing wet.

After 2 weeks, you’ll find that you won’t need to ice as often except after the end of a particularly strenuous day or after physical therapy.

I’m getting constipation from my medication. Is this normal?
Unfortunately, yes. Rest assured that constipation is a common side effect of narcotic-based pain medications. To counteract it, increase your fiber intake by eating foods such as beans, leafy greens, and dried fruit such as prunes. You may also purchase over-the-counter stool softeners, such as Colace or Senokot. If you continue to experience unrelenting constipation, contact the Arora Hand Surgery offices so that we can help.
I’m feeling sick and nauseous from my medicine. Should I continue taking it?
Yes, but keep the following in mind. Nausea is also a common side effect of many narcotic-based pain medication and there are ways to help alleviate it. Eat prior to taking these medications and drink plenty of water. Do not combine Tylenol or Motrin with your medications. If you continue to experience unbearable nausea, please contact your Michigan hand specialists at Arora Hand Surgery and we will evaluate you and call in a prescription to your local pharmacy for anti-nausea medication.
How quickly do I start physical therapy?
Physical therapy usually begins 1-2 weeks after surgery. For most arthroscopic procedures, physical therapy will begin 1 week after surgery. A tailored physical therapy prescription will be provided at your first post-operative appointment and may vary per patient.
I’m worried I may get an infection. Are there any warning signs that I should look for?
Although post-operative infections are not very common and Dr. Arora will educate you beforehand on how to avoid them, we understand this may continue to be a worry for patients. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of an infection is always important. If you experience any of the below signs or symptoms, please contact Arora Hand Surgery to speak with Dr. Avery Arora:

  • A sudden pain increase, seemingly out of nowhere
  • A fever of over 100.5° or 38° C and/or body chills
  • An expanding redness around your incisions that appears to be growing
  • Incisions that appear to be opening and not staying closed
  • A thick yellowy or white discharge from your incisions

I have a lot of bruising around my incision. Is this normal?
Yes. Bruising is common after surgery, and you may notice that the bruising extends a distance away from the incision itself. Some of the bruising may be tender to the touch while other bruising may not hold any pain at all. This is all normal.
When will my splint, soft cast, and/or bandages be removed?
Your splint/soft cast will be removed about 1 week after surgery during your first post-operative visitation. We will also provide you with more information about dressing removal during that visit.
When am I able to return to work?
Commonly for arthroscopic surgery we recommend recovering for 1 to 2 weeks, but depending on your job, your recovery period may be over 6 weeks. There are many variables to consider when determining how long you should wait before returning to work, such as what type of surgery you had, how labor intensive your work is, and the amount of time you must be on your feet at work.
When can I fly on an airplane?
You may fly an airplane at 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery.
When can I drive?
In general, you may not drive while taking pain medication.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.