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Keep your dressings clean and dry until your doctor says otherwise. If you need to bathe or shower, cover the dressings with a plastic bag taped securely at the opening to prevent getting wet, and keep the area out of the direct stream of water. If your dressing becomes wet, call your doctor immediately. DO NOT remove or modify the dressing unless instructed by your doctor.
Elevate your arm and hand
To prevent and minimize swelling and pain, raise the hand/arm above the level of the heart for 3-5 days. When indicated, you will be given a sling or blue Carter pillow. The hand may be held down only for brief periods of time. Continue to elevate the hand if swelling or pain persists after 3-5 days. Move your unaffected joints on the surgical side as much as possible to help with swelling and prevent stiffness. For example, if you had surgery on your thumb, then move your shoulder, elbow, wrist and other fingers.
Are you having tingling or burning in your arm or hand?
If you had a local or regional block anesthetic, your arm or hand may be numb for several hours or even overnight. As the numbness wears off, you may have a tingling or burning sensation which will eventually disappear. If the numbness persists after 24 hours, call your doctor. Protect your arm from potential injury, e.g., car doors, cuts, excessive heat or cold, etc. Use the sling or blue Carter pillow provided to you.
Take your pain medication
Start your prescribed pain medication as soon as you get home, DO NOT WAIT for the anesthetic to wear off. In order to minimize nausea, eat some food before taking your medication. Consult your doctor for severe pain that is not relieved by the medication and elevation.