Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Fractures and dislocations

Hand fractures are exceptionally common. Sporting injuries, accidents in the home and workplace injuries are just some of the common ways hand bones can become fractured. Seeking an expert opinion early can be very helpful to direct on-going care and ensure that bony healing occurs in a timely manner with little impact on hand function or appearance. If surgery is necessary, it can generally be performed as a day procedure. You will either have a light general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic during surgery.

With you comfortable, your fracture is carefully mobilised to a better position and a splint is applied. The type and stability of the fracture will determine whether plates, screws, pins and/or wires will be necessary to hold the fractured bones in place before the splint is applied. Your surgeon will discuss this with you pre-operatively.


When to See a Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon who specialises in Hand Surgery

Hand fractures can cause significant problems for hand function and appearance if not managed properly. Getting a timely review of your injury and medical imaging ensures that your fracture is managed appropriately. The additional benefit of seeing a Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon who specialises in Hand Surgery is that injuries of the soft tissues (tendons, nerves, arteries and skin) can be managed expertly at the same time as your fracture.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Post-surgery your finger or arm will be supported by a splint and you will need to wear a sling for the first few post-operative days. The splint is usually removed after four to six weeks, depending on the nature of your fracture.

You will be prescribed small exercises you can do at home to help with recovery. Full recovery can take three to four months, but you should be able to return to many activities within 6-8 weeks.

After your hand or finger is completely healed, the pins and screws can be removed, or they may be left in permanently. Your surgeon will advise whether they need to be removed.


More information

What else you should know

Post-surgery, is there anything else I need to understand?

Your surgeon will share tips on how to care for your splint.

You will also need to be aware of any signs of infection, which could include:

  • increased pain
  • bad odour, discharge or pus from your cast or splint
  • red, warm skin around your hand
  • fever.

If you believe you may have an infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Are there complications with hand surgery?

Like any surgery, hand surgery may have some complications. These may include:

  • infection
  • bleeding
  • pain
  • wound complications.

Your Surgeon will take steps to reduce the risk of these complications and will manage them with you if they should occur despite these steps.

How will RPS manage my post-operative care?

Your RPS surgeon will give you specific advice regarding your individual post-operative recovery. They will advise:

  • where you will go after your surgery
  • what medication you will be given or prescribed
  • what bandages and dressings you will need and when they’ll be removed
  • if you require stitches, when they’ll be removed
  • when you can get back to normal activity and exercise
  • when to book your follow-up care.
Our Canberra specialists

The team at RPS Canberra are committed to providing you with the best possible outcome.

The extensive specialist skills of our surgical team ensure that you are provided with surgical options designed to maximise form and function.

Our surgeons hold an impressive array of academic credentials, extensive professional experience and a personal commitment to patient satisfaction.