Your first week after surgery is very important to minimize swelling and discomfort. Swelling is a natural response to surgery. The following information should answer your questions about what to do when you get home.
SWELLING CONTROL – Keep the operative arm or leg elevated as much as possible. Elevating your leg requires you to lay down with your foot and leg above your heart. Sitting upright with your foot propped up is not enough, nor is sitting in a recliner sufficient. You should only be getting up to go to the bathroom and shower for the first few days.
USE AN ICE PACK every 2 hours for 20 minutes at a time. The cold will make a difference in your pain level. Do not leave the ice on until it melts.
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS – One or more prescriptions will be provided for you to decrease your pain, as well as swelling. We do not want you to suffer. Lortab or Percocet are narcotic pain relievers that also contain Tylenol. If you are taking these, do not take additional Tylenol. Naprosyn, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Celebrex, and Mobic are all anti-inflammatory medicines. It is okay to take the narcotic pain medicines and an anti-inflammatory medicine together.
DRESSING/SPLINT – You should not try to use the operative arm or leg until your doctor tells you it is okay to do so. Do not try to stand or put weight on the affected arm or leg, even with a splint on. Removing the splint before it is ready can lead to complications and can also increase your pain level.
EXERCISE YOUR FINGERS OR TOES – Unless your doctor gives you instructions not to do so, moving your fingers and toes will help reduce swelling and stiffness.
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.