Coping after hand or finger amputation
An amputation is considered the complete loss or the partial loss of a digit or limb. Finger or hand amputations may be required as the result of a severe crush injury, malignant tumor, serious infection or accidental injury.
While every finger amputation will be different, most people are able to return to work, hobbies, and sports after treatment. However, your actual recovery time can vary based on your pain tolerance complications, and amputation type.
The best results are seen with patients who are highly motivated and looking to return to their normal life. Simply put, your dedication and motivation toward recovery can play major role in the rate you recover. Continue reading to learn more about adjustment after hand or finger amputation.
Finger or hand amputation rehabilitation
Following your amputation, you will most likely begin rehabilitation. Although it may be uncomfortable, rehabilitation is an essential tool for adjustment. Your hand, physical, or occupational therapist will work to help you to perform and engage in the tasks of daily life as quickly as possible. In therapy, you may be asked to perform various exercises and tasks with the goal of:
- Preserving useful sensitivity
- Preserving the functional length
- Preventing adjacent joint contractures
- Preventing symptomatic neuromas
- Achieving short-duration morbidity
In the end, your rehabilitation and therapy sessions will be vital in helping you become acclimated to the amputation. Depending on the severity of your finger or hand amputation, your treatment team may also include psychologists and social workers.
Caring for a hand or finger amputation at home
After a finger or hand amputation, it’s imperative you go to all of your appointments because follow-up care is an essential component of your safety and treatment. If you notice any problems or have concerns, you should call your physician or nurse immediately.
It’s also a great practice to know your test results and keep a list of all of the medications you take. To help you in the recovery process, make sure to:
Always wear the splint exactly as explained by your physician. Avoid getting the splint wet and avoid taking it off until your doctor says it’s okay.
To reduce swelling, keep your hand raised above your heart as much as possible.
Follow your doctor’s instructions for caring for the wound.
Be safe with your medication. Take any pain medication as prescribed by the doctor.
If you are not taking prescription pain medicine, ask your physician which over-the-counter you should take.
Take all antibiotics exactly as prescribed. You should never stop taking antibiotics simply because you feel better. Make sure to finish the full cycle of antibiotics.
After your doctor removes the bandages, do not touch the area with the stitches and keep it dry.
There are a wide array of prosthetic options available after a hand or finger amputation. These options are designed to bolster functionality by restoring length to the amputated hand or finger. The goal of the prosthetic device is to help you adjust to the amputation and to improve the overall cosmetic appearance of the hand.
Source: Atlanta Hand Specialist www.atlantahandspecialist.com