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Pre-Op & Post-Op Instructions

General Post-Op Instructions :: Post-Op Hand Instructions
Post-Op Shoulder Intructions :: Post-Op Knee Instructions

General EOA Pre-Surgery Instructions

  • Nothing to eat or drink 8 hours prior to surgery except approved meds with a sip of water
  • Wear loose fitting clothes
  • Hand patients should wear should wear a button down shirt rather than an over-the-head shirt as it is easier to get on with the bandage
  • Arrange a ride home if you are an outpatient, unless you are receiving a a straight local anesthetic with no sedation
  • Bring any medications you are currently taking. You should also write down your medication information to be given to the hospital staff. Be sure to include the name, strength, and how often you take the medications. Please communicate any allergies you might have to your doctors and the nursing staff
  • Leave jewelry, credit cards, car and house keys, checkbooks, and items of personal value at home. Bring only enough pocket money for items such as newspapers, magazines, etc.

General EOA Post-Surgery Instructions

  • Read your preoperative sheet of FAQ's (frequently asked questions) and keep it handy for post-surgery
  • Ice and elevate the extremity that was operated on
  • If your pain medicine causes nausea, you might get relief from 25mgs of Benadryl or by taking the pain pill with peanut butter
  • Plan to rest for a few days after surgery to minimize bleeding and swelling
  • Remember to call or submit the online prescription refill form to renew narcotic prescriptions during office hours when we have access to your chart. We do not renew these prescriptions on nights and weekends so plan ahead and let us know if you need a refill

Post-Op Instructions for Hand Patients


1. Keep operated hand elevated above your heart level at all times (GOOD POSITIONS):

Keep operated hand elevated above your heart level at all times (GOOD POSITIONS)

2. AVOID these positions which may cause swelling (BAD POSITIONS):

AVOID these positions which may cause swelling (BAD POSITIONS)

3. Sling

  • You may remove the sling to elevate hand as pictured above

4. Dressing Bandage

  • Keep dressing dry and as clean as possible
  • A small plastic trash bag secured with a rubber band is good for showers or a bath
  • NO Swimming

5. Pain Control

  • A prescription for pain medication will be given to you following your surgery
  • Use the medication as prescribed. Do not drive, drink alcohol, or perform duties that require concentration or manual dexterity while on the medication
  • After the first 48 hours after surgery, you may find it beneficial to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, etc.) barring any contraindications to taking such medicines (i.e. stomach ulcers, kidney problems)

6. Follow-up Appointment

  • A follow-up appointment should have been scheduled for you in 10-14 days. If not, please call our office at (201) 569-2770 for an appointment
  • Sutures will be removed during your first post-op visit

7. Additional Instructions

  • Fingers should be pink. If fingers become blue, black or cold or if numbness persists, call your physician
  • Signs and symptoms to report: persistent fever greater than 100 degrees; wound redness or drainage; numbness; tingling
  • If you have any problems, please call our office at (201) 569-2770. During night and weekend times, a physician will be paged to assist you

8. Hand Therapy

  • If necessary, formal hand therapy will be organized for you during your first post-op visit

Shoulder Arthroscopy Post-Op Instructions

1. Wound Care

  • You may remove the bandage in 3 days and apply Band-Aids to the wound(s). If your wound is covered with steri-strips (thin white tapes across incision), please do not remove them
  • Keep wound clean and dry
  • You may shower in 3 days
  • Do not bathe or swim until the sutures (stitches) are removed
  • Sutures will be removed at your first post-op visit (usually 10 - 14 days)

2. Icing

  • Apply ice packs to the shoulder 3-4 times per day for 30 minutes until swelling is resolved

3. Sling

  • Subacromial Decompression: A sling has been applied to make you more comfortable. You may remove it for showering and range of motion exercises for your elbow, wrist and shoulder. Use of the sling amy be discontinued when you are comfortable (usually 4-7 days)
  • Rotator Cuff Repair: A sling and swathe (bandage) have been applied to stabilize your shoulder and make you more comfortable. You may remove it for showering and range of motion exercises for your wrist and elbow ONLY. You must keep the sling/swathe in place at all other times, including sleeping, until instructed otherwise by your doctor
  • Labral Repair: A sling and swathe (bandage) have been applied to stabilize your shoulder and make you more comfortable. You may remove it for showering and range of motion exercises for your wrist and elbow ONLY. You must keep the sling/swathe in place at all other times, including sleeping, until instructed otherwise by your doctor

4. Pain Control

  • A prescription for pain medication will be given to you following your surgery
  • Use the medication as prescribed. Do not drive, drink alcohol, or perform duties that require concentration or manual dexterity while on the medication
  • After the first 48 hours after surgery, you may find it beneficial to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, etc.) barring any contraindications to taking such medicines
    (i.e. stomach ulcers, kidney problems)

5. Follow-up Appointment

  • A follow-up appointment should have been scheduled for you in 10-14 days. If not, please call our office at (201) 569-2770 for an appointment
  • Sutures will be removed during your first post-op visit

6. Additional Instructions

  • Fingers should be pink. If fingers become blue, black or cold or if numbness persists, call your physician
  • Signs and symptoms to report: persistent fever greater than 100 degrees; wound redness or drainage; numbness; tingling
  • If you have any problems, please call our office at (201) 569-2770. During night and weekend times, a physician will be paged to assist you

7. Physical Therapy

  • You should remove your arm from the sling several times a day and gently move your elbow and wrist. Let pain and swelling be your guide to how much you do

Knee Arthroscopy Post-Op Instructions

1. Wound Care

  • You may remove the bandage in 2 days and apply Band-Aids to the wound(s)
  • Keep wound clean and dry
  • You may shower in 2 days
  • Do not bathe or swim until the sutures (stitches) are removed
  • Sutures will be removed at your first post-op visit
    (usually 10 - 14 days)
  • After knee arthroscopy, there is a variable amount of pain and swelling, often depending on how much surgery was done. You may notice swelling extending above your knee, which usually diminishes after several days. It is helpful to keep the affected leg elevated and to apply ice regularly
  • If you had a lateral release or mensical repair you may notice a significant amount of swelling in the knee and possibly some bruising. This commonly occurs and may take several weeks to diminish. Continue to ice the knee regularly and elevate the leg to help diminish the swelling

2. Icing

  • A Cryocuff has been applied to your knee. It is recommended that you use it fairly consistently for the first 24-48 hours to help diminish the swelling. Thereafter, you may use it on an as necessary basis
  • Apply ice packs to the knee 3-4 times per day for 30 minutes until swelling is resolved

3. Crutches

  • You may walk weight-bearing as tolerated with crutches. Crutch use may be discontinued when you can walk comfortably (usually 3-5 days). If you had a lateral release you will likely need crutches for 5-10 days
  • If you had a mensical repair or drilling of an osteochondritis dissecans lesion, please walk partial weight-bearing with a heel to toe gait with crutches for 4-6 weeks

4. Brace

  • You had a lateral release. A lateral release brace or bandage has been applied and should be worn during the day and night until your first post-op visit. You may remove it to apply ice to the knee and to shower
  • You had a mensical repair or osteochondritis dissecans drilling or repair. A Bledsoe brace has been applied to restict your knee motion from 0-30 degrees and should be worn during the day and night until instructed otherwise (usually 4-6 weeks). You may remove it to apply ice to the knee and to shower

5. Pain Control

  • A prescription for pain medication will be given to you following your surgery
  • Use the medication as prescribed. Do not drive, drink alcohol, or perform duties that require concentration or manual dexterity while on the medication
  • After the first 48 hours after surgery, you may find it beneficial to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, etc.) barring any contraindications to taking such medicines
    (i.e. stomach ulcers, kidney problems)

6. Driving

  • You may resume driving when you have full control of your leg and you are pain-free (usually 3-5 days)

7. Sports

  • Do not resume sports until further discussion with physician during your first post-op visit

8. Work/School

  • You may return to work or school as soon as you are comfortable and safe to do so (usually 2-4 days)

9. Follow-up Appointment

  • A follow-up appointment should have been scheduled for you in 10-14 days. If not, please call our office at (201) 569-2770 for an appointment
  • Sutures will be removed during your first post-op visit

10. Additional Instructions

  • Signs and symptoms to report: persistent fever greater than 100 degrees; wound redness or drainage; numbness; tingling
  • If you have any problems, please call our office at (201) 569-2770. During night and weekend times, a physician will be paged to assist you

11. Physical Therapy

  • You may begin quad sets, straight leg raised, calf pumps, and range of motion exercises as tolerated (see diagrams below.) Let pain and swelling be your guide to how much you do

Straight leg raisesStraight leg raises - Tighten the thigh muscle with your knee fully straightened on the bed, as with the Quad set. Lift your leg several inches. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Slowly lower. Repeat until your thigh feels fatigued. You also can do leg raises while sitting. Fully tighten your thigh muscle and hold your knee fully straightened with your leg unsupported. Repeat as above. Continue these exercises periodically until full strength returns to your thigh.

 

Ankle pumpsAnkle pumps - Move your foot up and down rhythmically contracting the calf and shin muscles. Perform this exercise periodically for two to three times an hour in the recovery room. Continue this exercise until you are fully recovered and all ankle and lower-leg swelling has subsided.

 

Knee strengthening exercisesKnee strengthening exercises - Place a small rolled towel just above your heel so that it is not touching the bed. Tighten your thigh. Try to fully straighten your knee and to touch the back of your knee to the bed. Hold fully straightened for five to 10 seconds. Repeat until your thigh feels fatigued.

 

Bed supported knee bendsBed supported knee bends - Bend your knee as much as possible while sliding your foot on the bed. Hold your knee in a maximally bent position for 5 to 10 seconds and then straighten. Repeat several times until your leg feels fatigued or until you can completely bend your knee.

 

Sitting supported knee bends - While sitting at bedside or in a chair with your thigh supported, place your foot behind the heel of your operated knee for support. Slowly bend your knee as far as you can. Hold your knee in this position for 5 to10 seconds. Repeat several times until your leg feels fatigued or until you can completely bend your knee.

 

Sitting unsupported knee bendsSitting unsupported knee bends - While sitting at bedside or in a chair with your thigh supported, bend your knee as far as you can until your foot rests on the floor. With your foot lightly resting on the floor, slide your upper body forward in the chair to increase your knee bend. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Straighten your knee fully. Repeat several times until your leg feels fatigued or until you can completely bend your knee.

 

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