Living with an Injured Hand

Suggestions to Make Recovery Easier

Here are some tips suggested to make your life easier after surgery or if in a cast.   Preparation can make things easier.


Cooking and Eating

•  Plastic plates and paper cups 
•  Coffee mugs with large handles that allow a full hand grip 
•  Stock the freezer with frozen dinners and things that are easy to open and pop into the microwave 
•  Have a few loaves of bread on hand 
•  Buy milk and things in smaller easy-to-handle sizes 
•  Prune juice or other mild laxatives (i.e. Senecot) or stool softeners (i.e. Colace) can be helpful since constipation is 
    common after surgery especially with narcotic medications



•  When possible avoid buttons, zippers, belts, and shoelaces 
•  Large T-shirts, baggy shorts or sweatpants and non-skid flip-flops or Velcro close sport shoes 
•  Panty hose - difficult to pull up, so plan on not wearing for a while 
•  Bras - try a Velcro closure or spandex



• We suggest a commercially available water-tight protectors (cast protectors). They are available from surgical supply stores and pharmacies (check availability prior to surgery), or mail order (Amazon, CVS, Walmart etc. (approximately $25 including delivery). These come in sizes adult hand, adult short arm (below elbow) and long arm (above elbow). These are best ordered prior to surgery if you know the correct size but  then used after the first dressing change so they are easier to apply. The plastic baggies immediately after surgery may be easier until the dressing is smaller.

•  Long handle back brush 

•  Soap - large bar, soap on a rope, or liquid soap 
•  Consider non-slip strips on floor 
•  Battery toothbrush especially if it is your dominant hand 
•  Have toilet paper in a convenient location



  • We do not determine if you can drive
  • You should not drive for 24 hours after anesthesia which includes any sedation
  • You should not drive when taking narcotic medications or judgment impairing medication. Some medication should be avoided if driving, operating machinery and doing any activity that can injure yourself or anyone else. (see FDA Driving & medication). This is especially true for pain medication which includes narcotic medication (ie: codeine, Dilaudid, Percocet, oxycodone, Demoral vicodin etc.) and any judgment altering medications.
  • We will tell you if we feel driving will injure your affected hand
  • You must be able to safely control the vehicle before you can drive
  • Wearing a cast or splint can impair mobility
  • You can check with your insurance company or the police if you have questions regarding driving with a splint or cast
  • Occasionally a return-to-driving program or reevaluation by a driving school with dual controls can be helpful



•  Consider filling out checks prior to surgery 
•  Use typewriter or word processor (easier if dominant hand involved) 
•  Stamps in sheets or rolls 
•  Rubber stamps for return address and deposit 
•  IRS - sign tax return if appropriate



•  Mail, newspapers 
•  Pets - arrange for care if needed and feeding 
•  Housecleaning 
•  Laundry 
•  Cash 
•  Paper towels, Toilet paper, Kleenex 
•  Haircut 
•  Fingernails, toenails 
•  Reading material, videos 
•  Give yourself extra time to do things