What can Hand Therapy do for you post surgery?
A number of complications can arise post-surgery, many of which can easily be treated. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from your surgery there may be some simple strategies that will help ease your symptoms.
At Lime we are able to complete dressing changes for clients with wounds healing by primary intention. The most common wounds we see are post-surgical wounds of the hand e.g. lacerations, dupuytren’s release, tendon repairs, ORIFs. We often need to debulk dressings to allow for ROM and to fabricate splints to adequately fit the client. Goals of wound care in the clinic are to promote healing and prevent/manage infection, remove nonviable tissue by debridement, establish and maintain a clean, moist, protected wound bed and maintain skin surrounding wounds. If any signs of infection are seen clients are directed back to their GP for management. We aim to provide optimal wound healing for all our clients in order to achieve the best results post operatively, begin scar management and aid in early functional use of the upper limb.
Fluid build up in a patients hand or arm causing oedema can greatly impact on the healing process of wounds, restrict movement and cause pain post surgery. We often see patients who have experienced persistent oedema post surgery and are unsure how to manage their swollen limbs. We are able to identify the underlying causes and recognise the different types of oedema, clinically assess and determine the appropriate treatment techniques for different oedema presentations. Using simple compression bandaging for upper limb management like Coban wrapping or compression garments, along with education on massage techniques, identifying skin integrity issues and maintaining skin hydration can all improve functional outcomes post surgery.
At Lime we offer scar management services, not just for scars to the upper limb but whole body, Scars that occur as a result of injury, burns or surgery can become thick, raised and inflamed quickly. On occasions scars adhere to the tissue underneath the skin and prevent movement causing contractures, pain and disability. The final stage of wound healing, remodelling phase, occurs anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 years from injury. Scar adhesions begin to form and mature as new collagen is produced and it is at this stage of healing, scar management should begin and is most effective. Early referrals will enable implementation of correct and consistent methods to minimise scar tissue. We deliver treatment techniques to improve scars, decrease functional impairment and prevent the spread of scar tissue. We use researched and evidence based treatments to improve the look and feel of scars such as compression, silicon gel, massage, splinting and desensitisation techniques. Therapists routinely note the colour, size, shape and texture of healing scar tissue, often taking photos to see the progression of healing.