Trauma Reconstruction is surgery that repairs injuries to the hand. These can be a result of fractures, burns, severe cuts, repetitive stress, and even diseases, such as cysts, tumors, and severe infections. The surgery focuses on restoring function to the hands, as well as keeping scarring to an absolute minimum.
Who Can Benefit From Trauma Reconstruction?
If you have had an injury that has caused you to lose some function of one or both of your hands, you may be an excellent candidate for trauma reconstruction. You must be properly diagnosed, and the doctor will be able to tell you if your specific injuries can be corrected with this surgery.
This will probably involve several preliminary tests and x-rays. Most patients are seen in the Emergency Room. They are frequently treated immediately or, if needed, taken to the operating room within a short time after the injury.
What is the Procedure Like?
Depending upon the injuries you have experienced, the doctor will focus on reconstructing the skin, bones, tendons, arteries, and nerves of the hand(s). Trauma reconstruction varies greatly from one patient to the next because the surgery must be individualized based on your injury and what is required to correct it.
Your trauma reconstruction surgery will be performed in a hospital, and the length of your stay will depend upon the extent of your surgery. Most patients can go home the same day, however. You will remain asleep during the procedure under a general anesthetic, and you will need someone to drive you home after your hospital stay. You will also need some help around the house for a period of time.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
After surgery, you will be given a prescription pain medication, a prescription antibiotic, and perhaps anti-inflammatory medication. You can expect to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising after your surgery, but swelling can be reduced by elevating your hand and applying a cool compress to the swollen areas. You may have to wear a splint after your surgery, and you will certainly have to wear a bandage.
The amount of time it takes to recover from your surgery will depend upon many factors. The doctor will tell you what to expect and will monitor your progress after the surgery. It may be a few weeks before you can return to work, drive, or engage in strenuous activities, and it may be months before full sensation and use is restored to your hand. Many patients require hand therapy to achieve the best level of function after surgery.
What Are the Risks of Trauma Reconstruction?
Trauma reconstruction of the hand can sometimes be a complex procedure, but in the hands of a skilled surgeon, it is very safe. Rare complications include nerve damage, which can often be repaired with subsequent surgery. Some injuries are so severe that reconstruction may not be possible.