Patient Resources

After Hand Surgery

Recovery after

Hand Surgery

After your procedure, the Arora Hand Surgery team will provide you with thorough instructions to enhance your recovery process. They likely will include additional, specific instructions regarding your particular surgery. However, the following general patient discharge instructions are ideal for most hand surgery patients.

Pain & Swelling

To minimize pain and swelling after surgery, use a pillow to raise your hand above your heart level. Use as many pillows as needed. Do this as much as possible for the first few days, including during sleep.

You may have been given a nerve block in the arm to control your pain. Numbness may last up to 24 hours. When your arm is awake, exercise your shoulder and elbow (if allowed) frequently.

If you have a sling, use it to hold your arm up when you are walking around for the first few days. Using a sling does not provide proper elevation of the arm to prevent swelling.

If your fingers are free in your dressing, practice making a fist 4-5 times daily to prevent stiffness. If your dressing does not include the elbow, straighten and bend the elbow 4-5 times daily to prevent stiffness.

Apply ice packs to the surgical area for the first few days to reduce swelling.


Do not wait for the nerve block to wear off to start your pain medications. Start taking your pain medications regularly as soon as you get home.

Follow instructions for use of your medications as discussed or printed on the bottle. If prescribed ibuprofen, take this three times a day or as instructed (with meals) for the next few days. If you still have pain, then take the narcotic medication (if prescribed).

If pain is minimal, you may take non-prescription, non-aspirin medications, following the instructions on the label for dosing.

Take antibiotics (if prescribed) as directed.

Bandages & Arm Dressings

Your dressing/splint/cast should be kept dry when bathing or showering. If your dressing or splint becomes soaked, you should contact the office.

Unless instructed otherwise, do not remove your own dressing or splint.

Activity & Driving

You may complete simple tasks such as walking and climbing stairs after your surgery, but you should limit your activity.

  • Do not participate in strenuous exercise or sports during your recovery period.
  • Do not drive while taking narcotics/opiates (such as Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone).
  • Do not drive for 24 hours after you have had anesthesia.
  • Do not operate heavy machinery or power tools for 24 hours after you have had anesthesia.
  • Do not make any important decisions for 24 hours after you have had anesthesia.
Eating & Drinking

In most cases, you may resume your normal diet after surgery.

When to Call

the Surgeon

You should call Dr. Arora’s office if you experience any of the following after surgery:

  • Excessive bleeding on the dressing
  • Excessive non-bloody wound drainage beyond the first 3-4 days
  • Excess swelling, coldness, paleness, or blue color of fingers (in comparison with your other hand)
  • Nausea or vomiting that lasts more than 1 day
  • Pain that is not relieved with pain medications
  • Numbness or tingling of the hand that lasts more than 1 day
  • Fever that is greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit

Alternatively, please go to your nearest urgent care facility or emergency department for urgent concerns.


Most patients will be scheduled to be seen within one week after surgery. At this time, the doctor will evaluate your progress and provide you with any additional guidance that may be needed.

For more information about the recovery process after hand surgery, call the office where you had your procedure or any of our other southeast Michigan offices.

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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.