Your first week after surgery is very important to minimize swelling and discomfort. Swelling is a natural response to surgery.
SWELLING CONTROL – elevate your leg/foot on two or three pillows to get your toes above your nose. Your recliner is not the best place to elevate the extremity; your couch or bed is best. For an upper extremity, lay on the couch with your arm leaning against the back of the couch with your fingers pointing to the ceiling.
USE THE ICE PACK – every 2 hours for 20 minutes. The cold will make a difference in your discomfort level. Do not leave this on until it melts.
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS – A prescription will be provided for you to decrease pain and swelling. You may also take ibuprofen for moderate pain if you were not given a prescription strength anti-inflammatory (Celebrex or Mobic).
Do not remove the dressing. Do not get the dressing wet. If you do, remove the wet bandage and cover you incisions with a clean bandage.
IF your doctor tells you that you may remove the dressing, wait until 2 days after the surgery. Once you take the bandage off, you may shower without covering the incision. Do not soak your extremity in standing water (i.e. hot tub, bath tub, dish water). Keep the incision clean and dry and do not use any ointments like Neosporin.
IF YOU HAVE A SPLINT – Leave the splint on until your follow up visit. You should not try to use the operative extremity until your doctor tells you it is okay to do so. Do not try to put weight on the affected extremity, even with a splint on. Removing the splint before it is ready can lead to complications and can also increase your pain level.
FOLLOW UP VISIT – Call our office to schedule your follow-up visit, we usually need to see you in one week.
CONCERNS – Please call the office if you have any questions or if you experience any of the following: Fever greater than 100.5 that does not subside after Tylenol, excessive drainage or redness associated with warmth around your incision, or pain unrelieved by your pain medication.