Hand Injury Treatment
Treatment of a hand injury depends on the severity of the injury and the presence of a hand fracture or hand dislocation. Treatment often includes rest, elevation, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. An orthopedic surgeon will need to reduce a dislocation or fracture site and apply a splint or cast. In some cases, the reduction may require surgery.
The treatment for hand injuries, such as abrasions and lacerations, include:
- Wound cleaning
- Wound repair
- Tetanus immunization
The treatment for hand sprains and hand contusion includes:
- Apply a cold compress:
- Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
- Compressive dressing
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Narcotic pain medication:
Additional treatment for hand fractures and dislocations may include:
- Splint for hand fracture
- Cast for hand fracture
- With some hand injuries you may wish to wear a sling for comfort:
- Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
- If you wear a shoulder sling for longer than two weeks make sure you perform shoulder range of motion exercises twice a day to avoid frozen shoulder.
- Reduction of the hand dislocation:
- Relocation of the misaligned bones
- Surgery for hand fracture
- Physical therapy for hand fracture
Hand Injury Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a hand injury.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Hand Injury Specialist
Continue to Hand Injury Home Care
- Campbell DA, Kay SP. The Hand Injury Severity Scoring System. J Hand Surg [Br]. 1996 Jun;21(3):295-8. 
- Chan J, Spencer J. Adaptation to hand injury: an evolving experience. Am J Occup Ther. 2004 Mar-Apr;58(2):128-39. 
- Gustafsson M, Ahlstrom G. Problems experienced during the first year of an acute traumatic hand injury - a prospective study. J Clin Nurs. 2004 Nov;13(8):986-95.