This handout explains the follow-up care after ulna shortening osteotomy surgery. The ulna has been shortened and secured with a metal plate because it was too long and was putting pressure on the cartilage in your wrist. This should decrease your pain and improve hand function. You have a drain in place to remove fluid from around the surgery site and to decrease the risk of infection. Please continue to take your antibiotics until the drain has been removed. We can schedule removal of the drain for you at our office in 2 days, or the nurse can instruct you on how to remove this at home. A splint has been set in place to maintain your thumb in as straight a position as possible. Please do not lift anything with the operative hand until instructed to do so after therapy. If the splint feels tight, it’s okay to unwrap and rewrap the Ace bandages. Due to the local anesthetic and regional block that you were given, you may notice a numbness or tingling sensation in your hand or fingers. This is normal and should decrease over the next few hours and days.
If the skin around the incision is red or if there is drainage coming out of it please call us right away. The phone number is at the bottom of this page. Go to the emergency room if this occurs at night or on a weekend. You will be scheduled to begin a therapy program within a week after surgery to introduce gentle range of motion exercises and to make a more comfortable splint once swelling has decreased. If you do not have an appointment to begin post-operative therapy, please contact our office and we will coordinate that for you.