Patrick Olson, M.D.

Thumb Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair Post-Operative Protocol

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Days 0 – until first Post-Op Apt.:
  • Keep post-operative dressing clean, dry, and in place
  • Keep hand elevated above the level of your heart
  • May use hand for very light activities of daily living, such as eating, writing, typing, getting dressed, and brushing teeth
Day 7-14:

Post-Op Appointment

  • Post-operative dressing removed
  • Stitches are absorbable and steri-strips left in place
  • Placed in custom, removable hand based splint (made by certified hand therapist) and begin range of motion (ROM) exercises under the guidance of a hand therapist
Weeks 1-6
  • Wear hand splint full time (including night time) to protect repair
    • Splint may be removed for showering and gentle ROM exercises as directed
  • May get steri-strips wet, but may not soak (bath tub, swimming, hot tub, etc.); pat area dry with clean towel
    • Once steri-strips fall off and the incision site is fully closed and healed, water activity is unrestricted
  • Continue with ROM (no pinch strengthening)
    • Gripping, grasping, or pinching with the thumb are prohibited. Premature return to these activities may cause failure of the repair.
Weeks 7-12
  • Wear hand splint during sport related activity and moderate lifting
  • Continue range of motion, but NO PINCHING UNTIL 3 MONTHS
3 Months:
  • Return to unrestricted activity without hand splint

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