How can I help my husband recover from a serious arm surgery?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 27, 2016
Scarlettohara asked...

My husband has just had serious surgery to his arm. His arm was cut in four places as he tripped and put his arm through a large window- He severed the artery, veins ,nerves and tendons. He lost a lot of blood and spent 4 days in hospital. He was given plasma everyday and has to build up his blood. Can you tell me how to help with this process and how to help the body with this trauma.


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

First, I just want to tell you my thoughts are with you and your husband, because I can imagine this was a scary situation for both of you!

After a major traumatic injury, such as your husband's, the body needs time to heal. Please understand that this kind of injury will take months to recover from. I would recommend physical therapy as well as occupational therapy to help work with your husband to assist his arm/hand to regain maximum function. He also needs to take care of himself; he needs to get enough rest, sleep, and eat healthy foods, especially protein.

You can help your husband by being supportive, which will be difficult. His healing will be a slow process, and it is easy for both of you to get discouraged. Encourage him to follow all the advice he gets from his health care team to the best of his ability, as this will help him to regain the most function. Last, be patient with your husband, as he may get irritable and depressed. Tell him to focus on the positive changes he sees, even if they are small.
Good luck!