Given how much you rely on your wrists to perform many important hand movements, any problem in just one of them, whether caused by a disorder or an injury, can be incapacitating.
Treatment for wrist conditions often starts with the conservative approach (e.g., medications, splinting, therapy, etc.). However, if symptoms persist after an extensive course of conservative treatment, your orthopedic doctor will likely recommend surgery.
If you’re contemplating undergoing surgery for your wrist problem, read on to learn what to expect from the procedure.
You will first go through a series of tests, including imaging tests so that your surgeon can assess the extent of damage to your wrist and determine whether you are eligible for the procedure.
If you are a suitable candidate, your care team will likely discuss with you what type of anesthesia – general, local, regional, or sedation – as well as the specific technique to be used during the procedure. There are various techniques used to perform wrist surgery. The one your surgeon will recommend will depend on the type, location, and severity of your injury or condition.
With the advances in surgical techniques, many wrist procedures can now be performed using the minimally invasive approach. This means only smaller incisions are involved, and consequently, lower risk of complications and quicker recovery.
To get you ready for your procedure, your orthopedic doctor will set a time and date for your surgery and provide you with detailed preoperative instructions.
Benefits and Risks of Wrist Surgery
The benefits of wrist surgery include corrected bone structure, better hand mobility and range of motion, and restored ability to carry out your day-to-day activities. Because surgery essentially reverses your symptoms, you no longer have to take pain medications, which can have adverse effects on your overall health.
Just like any other type of surgical treatment, wrist surgery has inherent risks, although very rare. These include excessive bleeding, infection, nerve or tendon damage, and improper healing of bones.
Recovering from Wrist Surgery
Most wrist surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, and thus, you can usually return home on the same day. You will just need someone to drive you home.
Your wrist will be immobilized while you heal, and you will likely be provided with pain relief medication as well as antibiotics to reduce your risk of developing an infection.
The recovery period from wrist surgery will depend on the type of procedure performed, but it can generally take up to 12 weeks.
Depending on your surgeon’s recommendation, your physical therapy may start immediately or within a week following your procedure. Your physical therapy program can last up to several weeks, and its goal is to help ensure you recover comfortably, safely, and successfully.
Wrist Surgery in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
At The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center, Dr. Tosca Kinchelow, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializes in the diagnoses and treatment of all types of wrist and hand problems. With her skills and extensive experience in hand-and-arm surgery—from simple to the most complex of procedures—Dr. Kinchelow has helped thousands of patients in Miami Lakes, Plantation, and neighboring areas successfully get back to doing the things they love.