Wrist Surgery Specialist in Fort Myers, FL and Port Charlotte, FL
Wrist surgery is available today. Don’t wait – get surgery right away. Talk to our team of healthcare professionals today at Florida Hand Center to explore the suitable treatment options for your specific needs. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL.
Table of Contents:
How long does it take to recover from wrist surgery?
Is Wrist surgery a major surgery?
What happens if you move your hand too soon after wrist surgery?
How long will you stay in the clinic after wrist surgery?
As with any other surgical procedure, recovery time depends on injury severity, type of surgery, and aftercare. Most wrist surgeries are minimally invasive; therefore, recovery time is often relatively short. Numerous treatments are available at the Florida Hand Center to address multiple conditions. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common wrist problems that may need surgery. Two procedures may be performed for Carpal Tunnel: Open release and endoscopic release. Open release surgery is traditionally used, though that is only due to a lack of education and experience performing endoscopic release.
Our primary provider, Dr. Helgemo, is Florida’s leading endoscopic Carpal Tunnel surgeon and is dedicated to achieving the least invasive treatments possible without impeding effectiveness. Both open and endoscopic release procedures can be done in our outpatient setting using IV sedation rather than general anesthesia. The endoscopic release is done through a small incision at the wrist, no larger than ½ an inch, and is closed using medical-grade skin glue instead of stitches. Most patients don’t require pain medication after the surgery and can resume most activities after. Depending on whether the release performed is open or endoscopic, recovery can take a few days up to four weeks. More severe cases of carpal tunnel may require several weeks or months for symptoms to disappear completely. After two weeks, you will have a follow-up appointment to remove the splint and begin physical therapy. The splint may need to be worn on occasion for another month in more severe cases. Basilar joint arthritis is another common condition where surgical treatment may be recommended. This arthritis occurs at the basilar joint, where the base of the thumb meets the wrist. Splinting and steroid injections are usually the first treatments to be implemented, though surgery may be the next step. The surgical procedure used to treat this ailment is called a “carpometacarpal arthroplasty with a tendon transfer.”
Mild IV sedation is used to perform the procedure in outpatient settings. Two incisions are made, one at the wrist and one in the forearm. The trapezium bone, one of eight small bones that form the wrist, is removed through the wrist incision, and a “scar tissue joint” constructed from a portion of excised forearm tendon (without detriment to the forearm) replaces the bone. You will wear a bulky bandage until you return to the office a week after your procedure, followed by a cast for three weeks. After the cast has been removed, you will meet with an occupational therapist and should see a full recovery three months after surgery.
Other conditions that may be treated through wrist surgery include DeQuervain’s Tendonitis, ganglion cysts, and scaphoid fractures. For DeQuervain’s tendonitis and ganglion cysts, you should expect to wear a splint or brace for four weeks and fully recover during that time. Occasionally, it may take up to 6 weeks for total healing. Recovery time for scaphoid fractures varies depending on displacement and if the fracture can be reduced through an open or closed procedure.
Bone healing is often slow, and the scaphoid specifically may repair slower than other bones due to less blood flow in the area. You may need to wear a cast for 2-3 weeks or longer. Scaphoid fractures usually heal after a few months though it’s not uncommon to feel stiffness for a month or so after cast removal. A dull aching may also be present for up to two years afterward.
The separation between major and minor surgeries depends on the extent of the incision, resection, tissue damage, recovery period, and risk for infection. In this sense, most of our procedures are considered minor surgery, the most extensive being carpometacarpal arthroplasty.
Dr. Helgemo believes that no hand surgery should hinder you, and most recovery healing is further stimulated by movement. Depending on the type of surgery, you may be placed in a splint or brace, prescribed a movement regime, or referred to a physical/occupational therapist. For release surgeries treating Carpal tunnel, you can expect a lightweight brace to be worn for up to two weeks until your follow-up appointment. This brace will help immobilize your wrist, though we highly encourage finger movement to begin immediately after surgery. The movement needed for activities of daily living, such as teeth brushing or feeding, should not be restricted.
We do not suggest lifting anything more than a pound, forcefully gripping, or doing repetitive activities with the healing hand. After two weeks have passed, you will have the splint removed and begin physical therapy. If you have a carpometacarpal arthroplasty with tendon transfer performed, you should expect to be in a bandage for one week, followed by three weeks in a cast extending from below your elbow to your thumb.
Again, it is encouraged you do not decrease your hand movement for day-to-day activities and follow your recommended exercise regime. These principles apply to most wrist surgeries. It is crucial that you maintain finger activity throughout your recovery to ensure optimal healing. Most patients can return to their daily activities immediately after surgical procedures are performed at our clinic. In all cases, you must not be lifting items more than a few pounds, firmly grasping things, or engaging in repetitive movements. Please consult with one of our doctors to discuss specific dos and don’ts according to your treatment.
At Florida Hand Center, we can treat numerous hand and arm issues with minimally invasive surgical procedures. In our outpatient, urgent care setting, you can expect to be seen, diagnosed, and treated all in one day. Our treatments have minimal downtime and will not leave you incapacitated. Most patients can go back to their daily activities shortly after their procedures.
We are an advanced medical facility dedicated to the treatment of hand and arm conditions with locations in Port Charlotte FL and Fort Myers FL and are proud to serve patients statewide. Call us or schedule an appointment today! We serve patients from Port Charlotte FL, Fort Myers FL, Punta Gorda FL, Estero FL, Murdock FL, Charlotte Harbor FL, Harbour Heights FL, Cape Coral FL, Lake Suzy FL, and Solana FL.
Additional Services You May Need
▸ Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
▸ Basilar Joint Arthritis
▸ Trigger Finger
▸ Dupuytren’s Contracture
▸ DeQuervain’s Tendonitis
▸ Ganglion Cysts
▸ Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
▸ Lateral Epicondylitis
▸ Small Joint Arthritis
▸ Wrist Pain
▸ Scaphoid Fracture Treatment
▸ Flexor Tendon Injuries Treatment
▸ Hand Tumors Removal Surgery
▸ Work Related Hand Injuries