Q: When I am doing my exercises, how much discomfort should I be in?
A: Your pain should not exceed a 3 out of 10 on a pain scale of 10 out of 10 with 10 being the worst possible pain you have experienced.
Q: What should I be cleaning my wound with?
A: You should have been given wound cleaning instructions from either your therapist or doctor. Typically, if you have sutures, the incision is cleaned with hydrogen peroxide. If your wound is healed and not an open wound, you may use antibacterial soap to wash your wound, otherwise, contact your therapist or doctor for instructions.
Q: I have been doing my home exercise program and am noting an increase in swelling. Should I be concerned?
A: No, if you are performing your exercises within a pain range of no greater than a 3 out of 10, the inflammation is normal with increased use of the hand. You may use ice and elevation to assist with decreasing this inflammation.
Q: My wound looks red. Do I need to be concerned that it is infected?
A: Usually, an increase in redness may occur with an increase in blood flow from exercising. If your wound is very warm to the touch, pain has been increasing with movement, and/or if you are noting a yellowish discharge, please contact your therapist immediately.
Q: I just had surgery and my bandages feel too tight. Is there anything I can do?
A: If you had a carpal tunnel release, cyst removal, or a trigger finger repair, you may loosen your bandages. Any other significant surgery, you may cut the bottom of the bandages only BUT DO NOT REMOVE THEM! You have precautions that may cause serious damage to what was repaired if the bandages are removed.
Q: Can I use a heat gun to modify my splint?
A: Absolutely NOT! Splints are made specifically for a specific reason. By modifying the splint with heat, you may cause serious damage to the splint and to the positioning of your limb, which is being immobilized. Do not leave you splint in a car when it is warm outside or by a heated device such as an oven or a heater. Please contact your therapist to make modifications to your splint if uncomfortable.
Q: My fingers and/or thumb are painful when I perform my home activities. Is there anything I can do in order to get relief?
A: You can modify your activities to take the stress off of those joints/digits. This is called joint protection. Here are some examples of what you can do to protect your joints: build up handles on pots & pans/toothbrushes/keys; use your whole hand when carrying items, avoid using your fingers only (i.e. carry bags underneath instead of carrying by the handle with your fingers) and use a fat pen to write with, this reduces the stress placed on your joints to write.
If you are currently seeing one of our therapists and need further information, please call us at our Hampton office at 757-827-2320 or our Williamsburg office at 757-206-1172.