How Do I Recover after Wrist Surgery?

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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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There are many things that you can do to recover from wrist surgery. Recovery times and methods will vary depending on the type of surgery performed. Physical therapy is one of the most common recovery activities, but many other factors can play a role in the healing process, such as a proper diet and avoiding wrist strain and tension.

Following the instructions from your doctor is perhaps the simplest and most important thing to do after wrist surgery. Listen to all instructions and advice given to you by your physician as well as nurses and other medical staff. If you have any questions or do not understand any aspect of the surgery or recovery, it is important to ask qualified medical personnel. Additionally, it is important to read and understand any literature that medical care providers give to you.

After wrist surgery you may enter physical therapy. It is important to attend all therapy sessions. If you are given techniques to use or exercises to perform outside of sessions, it is essential that you use them. For people who do not attend organized physical therapy, goal-setting can be a helpful recovery method. In the weeks following wrist surgery, some people like to set small, gradually increasing goals for themselves.


Your doctor may prescribe pain medication after wrist surgery. Pain killers can make the recovery process easier for people, but it is essential that you only take the prescribed dosage and follow all of the pharmacist’s instructions. Taking more of the medication than is recommended can be dangerous, sometimes leading to addiction or overdose.

It may be wise to research alternative methods of pain management after your surgery. Some people pursue meditation to lessen their pain, while others may try other forms of mental distraction to alleviate pain. Many people also have joined online or in-person support groups after wrist surgery.

The recovery process may be different for different people. Some people may naturally heal faster than others. For anyone recovering from wrist surgery, however, it is very important to not strain the wrist in any way. Regardless of how strong you feel, it is a good idea to avoid heavy lifting and other activities that could put tension on the wrist to avoid further damage. Avoid long-term repetitive motions and take frequent breaks if you must engage in such activities.

As medical technology progresses, recovery after wrist surgery may change, but some recovery time still is needed. The best thing for most people is to avoid putting too much pressure on the wrist and give it the maximum amount of time possible to heal. Promoting natural healing by getting lots of rest and eating healthy also can be beneficial after wrist surgery.


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