Gamekeeper's Thumb surgery
1 I apply a plaster of paris cast - backslab in theatre
2 Then fibreglass cast from the Cairns Hand Clinic - which can be waterproof if applied after 2 weeks when the wound is fully healed. This will incur additional costs.
3 Watch out for infection - any fever or increase in pain please notify your surgeon.
4 You can have scar prevention - using a Hypafix dressing for 6 weeks and then a silicone dressing for another 6 weeks - this will be provided by the Cairns Hand Clinic.
5 You may require grafting of your torn ligament from another site - this is generally in the crease of the wrist joint, and wont affect your recovery time. This will be decided while you are asleep.
6 Delays to surgery may increase the complexity of the surgery, or increase the risk of developing early onset arthritis.
7 Driving after surgery is not legally prohibited, but insurance may be an issue.
8 I do not participate in a no-gap scheme, as I don’t believe surgery should be rushed.
9 You would require 3-4 days resting at home, and may not be able to work for the 4 weeks while wearing the cast. If you have a desk based job, you may be able to work at day 10 - once in the fibreglass cast.
10 We can discuss your return to work at your day 7 check as patients are very variable in their responses to surgery.
11 You need to plan whether you want to stay overnight in hospital. This is dependent on your pain levels and the capacity of your support person to assist you with showering, eating, meal preparation.
12 You may get a throbbing
13 If your hand is puffy then you should elevate it and move your fingers. If it is not swollen, you can use your hand as able.
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Orthopaedic Surgeon in Cairns, Far North Queensland