Post Operative Instructions

Arthrodesis (joint fusion)

Wound Care

  1. Keep your incision dry, but it is okay to take a shower and wash your hands. Please do not put your operative hand in a tub, pool, hot tub or sink of water for 2 weeks after surgery.
  2. Keep the surgical wound covered with a band aid or bandage for the first week. Please do not apply antibiotic ointment or use peroxide on the surgical site. Stitches will be removed one week after surgery in the office. It is okay to wash the dried blood around your incision with peroxide on sterile gauze one time.
  3. Elevate your hand above your heart when up. You may cross your wrist over your chest to the opposite shoulder or strike the "Statue of Liberty" pose with the operative hand.
  4. Report redness, swelling or drainage to our office at 804.320.1339.


  1. Move the other joints of the finger frequently, straightening them completely, and making a full fist several times per hours.
  2. Refrain from pushing, pulling, lifting or grabbing with the operative hand and do not lift anything that weighs 5 lbs for more. (ex. A gallon of milk weighs 8 lbs)
  3. Wear your splint at all times – removing for hygiene and for exercises for the other joints of the finger.

What should I expect during the first month after surgery?

  1. You should experience minimal pain, which is usually relieved by resting your hand, taking over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  2. Pain at the surgical site can occur with direct pressure over the incision, such as that experienced when pushing yourself out of a chair.
  3. Numbness and tingling may linger for a short while, but improves with time after surgery.
  4. It is common to have mild swelling at the surgical site, but usually is not associated with pain or redness.

Please make an appointment to be seen if you having concerns.