Hand & Wrist Fractures Surgery

Injuries of the hand and wrist are common and can have significant impact on function both in the short and long term. These injuries are often swept under the rug, “oh well, it’s just a finger” or that “there’s nothing they can do about finger fractures anyway” and to be honest nothing could be further from the truth.

Treating Hand & Wrist Fractures

While many fractures in the hand or wrist can be managed non-operatively with simple measures such as splinting or buddy taping, there are a number of injuries that are best managed with surgery. Early specialist assessment will ensure that you optimise the outcome of your injury.

Hand therapists play a very important role in the management of hand injuries. Managing swelling and pain in the early stages and guiding safe, early mobilisation of injured hands are key aspects of the care provided. Your surgeon and therapist will work together to create an individual plan, tailored to your injury to ensure the best possible result.

The concept of managing hand injuries is quite simple – get the hand moving again as soon as possible. Some fractures around the hand are inherently stable and movement can be commenced as soon as comfort allows (usually within 1-2 weeks). Unstable injuries may be best managed with surgery to provide stability such that motion can begin early in the post-operative course. Either way, you should be getting your hand moving again within two weeks of injury – prolonged immobilisation can be very difficult to recover from.

Surgery for Hand & Wrist Fractures 

The aim of surgery for fractures of the hand and wrist is to stabilise the fracture back in its normal position such that you are able to start moving the hand straight away. Fractures can be fixed with any combination of simple pins (K-wires), plates and screws and these days there are a number of implants specifically designed for various hand fractures.

Rehabilitation from Hand & Wrist Surgery

Following surgery, you will often be referred to a specialist hand therapist to help guide your rehabilitation and ensure you get the best result possible after your injury. This can involve wound care, swelling and scar management, taping, the fabrication and fitting of removable splints, as well as a series of progressive exercises aimed to restore motion, strength and function to your hand. Recovery after hand and wrist fractures takes time, even after surgery. 

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