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Follow-up treatment

What is to be considered with the follow-up treatment after the surgery of a tenosynovialitis (de Quervain)?

The dressing on hand and forearm need to be applies in a ways, that thumb and fingers can be moved easily. Simultaneously, the wound, nearby the wrist needs to be protected properly.

The dressing is renewed frequently by the physician and the wound is inspected during that change.

Please also move your operated hand! Move your fingers and the thumb immediately after the surgery.

Please move the finger and the thumb in an appropriate way:

For general orientation: do not lift or hold anything that is heavier than a cup of coffee with the hand that underwent the surgery.

Is it possible to take a shower after the surgery?

Important for everything you do as long as the sutures are applied, is that the wound is protected from humidity or even dirt.

For taking a shower, protective covers are available. Alternativey, two shoping bags can be used, which are slipped over the hand and fixed with a dense plaster, so no water is able to run into the direction of the hand.

When are the stitches removed?

About 10-14 days after the surgery, if the wound healing is as planned.

The removal of the skin sutures with a well healed wound is very easy and related with an easy to endure ache at the wound.

Especially in the area of the hand, a very gently removal of the sutures is possible with a scalpel. Revoming the skin sutures is also possible with scissor and tweezers. The pull applied on the sutures is felt a little more with that technique.

The illustration does not show the removal of the sutures after a de Quervain surgery, but after a different hand surgery. (Surgery at the thumbs basal joint)

The mentioned techniques of suture removal are always the same!

Is physiotherapy necessary after the surgery?

In individual cases, this can be useful. If, e.g. the range of movement of the fingers, the thumb or the wrist is below average and no improvements are to be seen with the individual exercise.

Mostly, the individual exercise if enough:

1-2 days after the stitches are removed, the hand can be moved in warm water. Here, it’s proven to do that 3×5 minutes per day for the first 6-8 weeks.

It’s furthermore adviseable to apply fatty cream onto the hand and especially the scar multiple times per day during the first months.

When can full load be applied to the hand?

After 6 weeks. At this point, the surgical scars are still sensitive. (the “hypersensivity” occurs due to the radial nerve or it’s branches, which is leading directly through the surgical field)