General Postoperative 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 is a narcotic medication and can be taken as often as 1-2 pills every 3-4 hours.  Nausea and stomach pain sometimes occur with this medicine.  Drowsiness and difficulty concentrating are also common side effects.  You must not drive, make critical decisions, sign important documents, or do any type of activity requiring concentration or alertness while taking this medication.  You do not have to take this medication.  If is available if you need it.  You may also have been given a prescription for Toradol.  This is a non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medication that is very useful for the first five days.  Instructions for it are 1 every 6 hours for the first five days.  This medication does not cause drowsiness or sleepiness.  You may find that this medication is all that you need after your procedure. 

Dressing:  Keep the dressing dry for 72 hours after surgery.  You may then remove the entire dressing and shower without allowing direct water to hit your incision area.  After your shower you may cover up your incision either with band-aids or with 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 a large amount occurs, please call our office for instructions.  If TED hose is part of your dressing, please leave on for the first 72 hours and then wear as instructed by the doctor at the office. 

Blood Clots:  If you are not allergic, please take one aspirin (Bufferin, Ascriptin, etc.) per day for the first week.  You do not need to do this if you are taking the Toradol medication.  Aspirin helps decrease the stickiness of platelets in the bloodstream 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.  Also, if you have been given a TED hose, please wear as directed. 

Activity:  Rest as much as possible for the first 48-72 hours.  Keep your extremity elevated higher than your heart to minimize swelling and pain.  Use an ice pack as needed for pain.  This should almost be constant for the first 48 hours.  Use crutches as instructed and avoid any strenuous activities until you are seen in the office. 

Diet:  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 the pain medications. 

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, discoloration in the extremity that does not improve with rest and elevation, or foul smelling drainage on your dressing.  If you have any concerns whatsoever, please call the office. 

APPOINTMENT:  You are scheduled for a follows-up appointment on ____________________________.  If, however, you are uncertain, please call the office to make an appointment to see me in about one week after surgery.




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Joseph R. Ritchie, M.D.                                                          Patient’s Signature




____________________________________________          ________________________________________________      

Nursing Signature                                                                  Date




Dr. Ritchie’s Post Surgical Instructions

Office phone number (314) 909-1359


Activities:       o Do not drive for 24 hours or if taking prescription pain medicine

o May resume daily activities tomorrow

o May bathe tomorrow


Do not get incision wet unless instructed otherwise.

Gait:                o Weight bearing as tolerated with crutches

o Non-weight bearing


Prescriptions:     o Resume home medications                             o Resume blood thinners

        o Resume Insulin                                                 o Pain RX as ordered


Wound Care:       o May change dressing in 2-3 days                    

        o Ice pack to surgical site for 24 hours

        o Elevate operative extremity for 24 hours

        o Sling or shoulder immobilizer

        o EGS therapy as per instructed.           

        o R-O-M Brace set at _____ degrees – Locked when sleeping and walking.


General:               o Eat lightly today; resume normal diet tomorrow          

        o Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours or if taking prescription pain medicine.

o Pain medication may cause constipation.  If you become constipated, contact your local              pharmacy for an over-the-counter stool softener.


Other:             The doctors have noted the following about your general health:

        o Irregular heartbeat                                            o High blood pressure

        o Elevated blood sugar                                        o Elevated temperature

                              o Other _________________________________________________________________


You are urged to see your medical doctor about the conditions noted.

Office Visit:          o An appointment has been made for you on: ___________________________________

        o Call Dr. Ritchie’s office for an appointment to be seen within 5-7 days.


Notify the doctor regarding any excessive swelling, bleeding, pain, redness,

temperature change, nausea or vomiting.





_________________________________________          ______________________________________________      

Joseph R. Ritchie, M.D.                                                       Patient’s Signature




_________________________________________          ______________________________________________      

Nursing Signature                                                                Date