Getting the right treatment for your injury is important, but following the proper postoperative processes are also vital to your health as well as the strength and healing time of the affected injury.
Processes for General Postoperative Rehabilitation
The information below is meant for patients in the post-op phase or anyone looking for more information on what to expect. These are general guidelines that can change depending on a patient’s case.
You will be given prescriptions for pain medication at your pre-op appointment. These may be taken every 4 hours for pain if needed. You should ice your operative site regularly for 48-72 hours after surgery to help reduce swelling and pain. After that, you may wear the ice packs as much as you would like. If you opted to utilize a cold therapy device, it will greatly help with this process and can be used as much as you like.
The incision(s) may be sore and develop bruising over the next several days. This will go away and no special care is needed. You may remove the bandage on post-op day 2. No bandage is needed over the surgical would as long as it is clean and dry. If there is any moisture at the surgical site, simply cover it with cotton gauze.
The most important aspect of caring for your surgical incision is to keep it clean and dry for the first 72 hours. As long as the incision is completed dry, it is OK to shower on the fourth day after your surgery. Limit the shower to 5 minutes. Do not scrub the incision. Simply pat the incision dry following the shower. ABSOLUTELY no baths or hot tubs for a minimum of 4 weeks.
If you were placed in a sling or brace after your surgery, please continue to use this until your postoperative appointment. Please download specific instructions on its use (PDF).
Although I do want you to wear your brace/sling, I also want you to get up and move around with the specific limitations as noted below.
Weight Bearing Status: Non WB | Partial WB | Full WB
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is when a clot develops in the deep veins of your extremity following a period of immobilization or trauma. Extremity surgery, especially lower extremity surgery, can increase your risk of developing a blood cot in your deep veins. This is a serious condition, and these clots can travel to your lungs in the form of a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). PEs are life-threatening, and the best treatment is prevention. For this reason, if you had lower extremity surgery, I would like you to take an Ecotrin-Coated Aspirin 325mg once daily for 4 weeks to help diminish this risk.
Except for very specific conditions, we will discuss your postoperative plan and your need for therapy at your post-operative visit. If we decide you need therapy, we will make the arrangements for you to be seen at one of the trusted PT clinics that we work with on a regular basis and are confident that they will provide you with the best PT available.
If you have a temperature, severe pain, or redness at your operative site, please contact the office immediately.
We would like to see you in my office to check your surgical site and go over your postoperative plan 2-3 days after your surgery. if you do not already have an appointment scheduled, please call my office and arrange a follow-up on the Friday following your surgery. You will typically see my Physician Assistant at this appointment. He and I discuss your postoperative plan in detail prior to your visit. I will see you at your next appointment.
Please call the office at 719-632-7669 if you have any questions or concerns.