General Post-Operative Surgery Instructions

The following list of instructions is a general guide only. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed, please call.

Pain Medication:
You have been given a prescription for pain medication; Percocet or Vicodin. These are narcotic medications. The Percocet and Vicodin can be taken 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours. Please avoid taking this medication on an empty stomach. Nausea and stomach pain sometimes occur with this medication. Drowsiness, constipation and difficulty concentrating are also common side effects. You must not drive, drink alcohol, make critical decisions, sign important documents, or do any type of activity requiring concentration or alertness while taking this medication. If you become constipated, contact your local pharmacy for an over-the-counter stool softener. You do not have to take this medication; it is available if you need it.

Keep the dressing clean and dry for 2-3 days after the surgery. You may then remove the entire dressing and shower without allowing direct water to hit your incision area. After showering you may cover up your incision either with band-aids or a new dressing. Replace the Ace wrap during the day to minimize swelling. If your dressing becomes saturated or soiled earlier than three days after surgery, you may change it using sterile gauze and wiping the wounds either with alcohol or betadine. A small amount of blood or drainage is not unusual on the dressing in the first few days. If the drainage is excessive or bright red blood, please call our office for instructions. Bruising is common after surgery. It is caused by bleeding into the soft tissue and will resolve on its own. If TED hose is part of your dressing, please leave on for the first three days and then you may take it off before showering, then reapply after showering until your first post-operative visit.

Blood Clots:
If you are not allergic, please take one aspirin per day for the first week. Aspirin helps decrease the stickiness of the platelets in the blood stream and minimizes the chance of blood clots. Also, pump your ankle up and down frequently to stretch and contract the calf muscle. This exercise helps to keep blood flowing in your veins when your activity level is otherwise decreased. Please notify our office if you have severe pain and swelling in the back of your calf. If you have been given TED hose, please wear as directed until your first post-operative appointment with Dr. Collard.

You may need crutches. Please use your crutches if ordered. You may rent these at most Walgreens drug stores or pharmacies. You will be required to put a deposit down, use the crutches and when you are finished with them, return and you will receive your deposit back. In most cases, you will be allowed to put full weight on your leg after surgery; however, the muscles may be weak and it is possible for you to fall. As your leg becomes stronger (usually 10-14 days) you may wean yourself off the crutches.

Rest as much as possible for the first 2-3 days. Keep your extremity elevated higher than your heart to minimize swelling and pain. Use an ice pack as needed for pain. This should almost e contact for the first 48 hours. Never place the ice pack directly on your skin. Place a washcloth between the pack of ice and your skin. Intermittent swelling is normal in your knees, lower leg and foot. If this occurs, apply Ace wrap, ice pack and keep the extremity elevated above the level of your heart.

Begin with small amounts of clear liquids. If this sits well, progress your diet as tolerated to your normal diet. Nausea is common after surgery due to the anesthetic and pain prescriptions. If nausea continues, please notify your doctor and we may be able to call in a prescription to make you more comfortable.

Warning Signs:
Please call the office immediately if you develop persistent vomiting, inability to urinate, persistent high fever (over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit), persistent chills, sweats, shaking episodes, numbness in the extremity, foul smelling drainage on your dressing or discoloration in the extremity. Be sure to observe the skin color, temperature and sensation of the affected extremity every hour while awake. Always compare the extremity to the unaffected extremity. Notify Dr. Collard’s office if you observe pale or blue nail beds or cold or numb toes.

Please call our office after surgery to schedule a post-op appointment at (314) 909-1359. Please schedule to see us 2 weeks after surgery or as instructed by Dr. Collard.