Nonoperative Treatment

With non-operative treatment, symptoms can subside in a few days, but more commonly, relief may take as long as several weeks or months. Treatment continues as long as the symptoms seem to improve and they do not interfere with daily activities.

To control symptoms, it may be necessary to make changes in everyday activities (both work and play). The patient should:

  • decrease repetitive motions.
  • keep the wrist straight.
  • use a proper grip (use as much of the hand and as many fingers as possible).
  • rest periodically and alternate hands.
  • use less pressure and slow movements.

  • Operative Treatment
    • After surgery, the hand will be bandaged, often in a splint, and kept elevated. To reduce swelling, the hand must be kept above the elbow, and the elbow above the shoulder. Most doctors suggest early finger motion to prevent stiffness.
    • The incision must be kept dry until the bandage and stitches are removed at the follow-up appointment. Typically, this appointment occurs about 7 to 14 days after surgery.
    • Patients often notice improvement in symptoms within days after the surgery and some get immediate relief. In more severe cases, the improvement may occur gradually over several weeks or months.
    • Hand therapists may prescribe exercises to help improve circulation, motion, and muscle strength. Post-operative therapy is not always necessary. The doctor should be consulted if stiffness, scar tenderness, persistent pain, or weakness develops after surgery.


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