Rehabilitation after hand and wrist surgery is important to achieve a good result.
Surgeries such as carpal tunnel decompression, Dupuytrens release, fracture fixation and tendon or ligament repair require specific post-surgical treatment to protect the tissues, manage wounds and scars, reduce swelling and restore full movement, strength and function.
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We have clinics in Merivale, Papanui, Moorhouse Ave, Halswell and Kaiapoi
Rehabilitation after surgery
Hand therapists are specially trained in post-surgical rehabilitation and wound care, and have close contact with surgeons to ensure optimal results. If you had surgery privately or in the public hospital we can look after your post-operative rehabilitation. You will normally see a hand therapist quite soon after surgery. Initial treatment includes looking after the wound and dressings, managing swelling and ensuring the right splint or cast is in place.
Safe exercises will be started soon after surgery to make sure your tissues heal well and your hand doesn’t get stiff. Your hand therapist will guide you through the appropriate exercises as you recover. Ultimately your rehabilitation will aim to get you back to your normal daily, work and sport activity.
Our hand therapists regularly attend conferences in New Zealand and internationally to ensure we are aware of current research and best practise treatment protocols. We can be in contact with your surgeon if there are any concerns or complications.
Post-0p Rehabilitation FAQs
If you have had surgery in the public hospital or privately we can look after your post-op rehabilitation. Book an appointment to get started!
Moisture, massage, compression, movement and silicone are all things that can help a scar heal well. Seek advice from your hand therapist to make sure you are doing the right things for your particular scar.
Hand therapy usually starts within the first few days or weeks after surgery. It is important to start early so that you are doing the right exercises to help you heal and prevent your hand and wrist getting stiff.
Keep your fingers and thumb moving after surgery if you have been told it is ok to do. Making a fist and straightening your fingers all the way, spreading out and closing your fingers, and touching your thumb to each finger are good exercises to help swelling and maintain movement.
It may be hard to bend your fingers after surgery because of pain or swelling. Not moving for even a short time will make your fingers stiff. Start with slow gentle movements and seek advice early to prevent long term stiffness.
These information sheets include more details about particular conditions and how they are treated.
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Merivale Hand Clinic
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Rehabilitation of the Hand, Wrist and Elbow
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Our team of 12 hand therapists have undergraduate degrees in physiotherapy or occupational therapy and have all completed a post graduate qualification in hand and upper limb therapy. Together we have a total of over 150 years of experience in hand therapy!