What are the potential complications?
The majority of patients are very satisfied with the outcome of surgery. Whilst uncommon, all surgical procedures are associated with some risks. Every effort is made to minimize these to ensure the best possible outcome from your surgery.
Infection - Uncommon occurs in approximately 1% of operations and usually treated very successfully with antibiotics. Very rarely would require further surgery
Delayed healing - Smokers and those with diabetes are more prone to this
Painful/Tender/thickened scars - the vast majority of patients complain of some discomfort around the scar but it generally resolves with time. Wound care and desensitization as directed by your physiotherapist/hand therapist will improve this.
Nerve injury – small nerves that supply the skin around the scar may be injured giving a numb patch or unpleasant sensation round the scar. The use of magnification glasses (Loupes) by your surgeon and very careful dissection will be used to minimise this complication
Stiffness - Operations to the fingers may cause stiffness, this can be minimized by getting your hand moving as early as possible and working closely with your hand therapist if necessary.
Incomplete resolution of your symptoms
Recurrence of symptoms
CRPS – complex regional pain syndrome, this is an uncommon but serious complication. It can on rare occasions leave you with a less function hand with on-going pain stiffness and swelling. See section on CRPS. The exact incidence or rate of CRPS after surgery is unknown. It probably occurs in a significant form in approximately 1-2% of cases