Thank you for choosing Madsen Orthopedics for your recent Orthopedic Surgery! Here are some postoperative instructions for you, be sure to read through all these instructions after you have returned home. If you have any further questions feel free to contact our Clinical Staff and we will be able to assist you further. 972-664-0606 – option 3.
Pain medications that may be prescribed: Percocet, Norco and Tylenol #3 are typical medications. You are to take 1 pill every 6 hours for pain. Follow the instructions for each medication as written on the prescription bottle. It is recommended that you take the pain medication with food as they may cause nausea if you take on an empty stomach. It is not uncommon to develop constipation when taking prescription pain medication. You may take an over the counter stool softener or laxative if needed. If you have a nerve block, begin taking the pills as you feel your sensation returning (tingling in fingers) to prevent a sudden onset of extreme pain. The block may last up to 24 hours. Do NOT drive or operate heavy equipment when taking your prescription pain medication. An antibiotic may also be prescribed depending on the type of your incision. Please take this medication as written on the prescription bottle.
In general, we prefer the dressings to be left alone until your follow up with Dr. Madsen. If the dressing begins to come off and you are NOT draining it is only ok to remove 24-36 hours after surgery. Please cover incisions or port holes (incisions) with bandaids and rewrap with ace if one was provided. If your dressing gets EXCESSIVELY wet prior to your first post-op visit, meaning “soaked through,” please contact the office for instructions. If you feel that the dressing may be too tight, you may loosen the elastic bandage only. Do NOT remove any of the sterile padding or gauze until 24-36 hours post-op as this may expose you to an infection. NO submersion of wounds (bath, hot tub, pool, etc.) is allowed until a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery to allow ample time for incisions to close and heal properly. Your porthole or long incisions require an external suture to keep the incision closed tighter to promote faster healing. These external sutures will be removed or clipped 10 to 14 days after surgery. Bruising around the area of the surgery is normal; bruising of the lower leg is normal. This is a result of the fluid and blood in the knee or shoulder moving down the leg or arm due to gravity and should resolve in 10 to 14 days.
If you receive a sling or brace after your surgery it needs to stay in place until your follow up appointment where we will discuss the duration of use. Sling: If you are having difficulty sleeping in your sling try sleeping in a recliner or put a small pillow underneath your shoulder. When we sleep our shoulders naturally drop back and this may be the cause of your discomfort. Weight Bearing Status: Crutches may be dispensed after your surgery, these are to be used as needed for comfort and stability for general knee arthroscopies. If the procedure performed was a MICROFRACTURE or MENSICAL REPAIR – you are on NON WEIGHT BEARING status, need to use crutches when you are ambulating and the brace needs to stay on continuously, locked at 30 degrees.
Cryotherapy or Cold therapy is used to control pain and swelling. The use of ice or other cryotherapy device such as the Game Ready or Cryo-Cuff should be used 2-3 hours daily. Place the cryotherapy device on top of the post-op surgical dressings. To help reduce the likelihood of your initial post-op dressing getting wet, you can place a barrier of saran wrap or a piece of plastic, i.e. plastic zip-loc bag, between the device and your dressing. If a cryotherapy device such as the Game Ready or Cryo-Cuff is not applicable, a very easy and inexpensive way to ice is to use frozen peas. Go to the grocery store and buy several bags of frozen peas. Take them out of the bag they come in and place in a gallon sized zip-lock freezer bag making them about an inch thick. Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible and make a good seal. When you are done, return them to your freezer and lay flat. Now you have a light, inexpensive ice bag that can be reused numerous times.
Your post-op appointments will be scheduled typically 10-14 days following surgery. If for any reason they have not been scheduled, please contact our office at 972-664-0606. If you have any additional questions in regards to bracing, crutches, pain medication or wound care please contact us at 972-664-0606 option 3.