My hand is the size of a basketball. Is something wrong?
Almost certainly not. The skin on the back of the hand is quite loose and thin, and after surgery or injury it can swell to an amazing size, particularly if there is an ACE bandage or splint on the hand, which slows the rate at which fluid leaves the hand. Amazingly, it generally resolves within days or weeks without any long-term effect.
I'm out of pain medication. What should I do?
Unfortunately, most pain medications were reclassified by the DEA as schedule 2 drugs in October 2014. This means that to get a refill you have to come to the office and be given a paper prescription on a special pad in person. They cannot be called, faxed, or e-prescribed and cannot be refilled at night or on the weekends.
While we can substitute lesser medications in an emergency, please plan ahead and make an appointment if you think you will need a refill.
Can I take off my splint? What if it gets dirty or wet?
In general you should keep your splint on until your first visit unless Dr. Kwon tells you otherwise. Immediately after surgery you generally have a temporary splint made of plaster or fiberglass. Once the swelling subsides and your hand is no longer changing shape, you can be fitted for a waterproof removable plastic splint in the office.
If the splint gets slightly wet it is not dangerous, but it does cause odor to increase dramatically. If the splint gets soiled or soaked, or if the splint is smelly, irritating, or rubbing, make an appointment to have it replaced in the office.
Will I need therapy?
Sometimes. Many patients with minor injuries can rehab them without a therapist. A therapist will generally get you there faster, of course. On the other hand, nerve, tendon, and fracture-related injuries almost always benefit from the services of a skilled therapist, as managing the scar tissue is beyond the abilities of most patients (and most doctors, for that matter).