Post-Operative Care

Aftercare & recovery advice following surgery

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Apart from the specific instructions given to you depending on the type of surgery, you have undergone, the basic general instructions that you should follow after your surgery are as follows:

Take pain-relieving and other medications as advised. Pain-relieving medication should be taken with food. After the first 48 hours of surgery, take the pain medication only when needed.

Keep the dressing clean and dry to promote wound healing.

Use ice packs to control swelling. However, make sure that the ice bag does not leak into the dressing. Ice packs can be used liberally for the first 48 hours and even later if required.

Follow the specific restriction of activity, as advised. Remember that it is easier to prevent developing pain rather than managing it once it has already developed. Rest for a few days after the surgery and keep the operated extremity elevated, above the level of your heart, to control swelling.

Try to begin physical therapy a day or two after the surgery. Exercises in the first week are usually aimed at regaining joint motion. Strengthening exercises are initiated later. Regular exercises are critical for a successful outcome.

Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks.

Schedule your follow-up appointment with your doctor as advised.

Please consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Increased drainage from the incision

Increased redness around the operated area

Increased swelling that does not decrease with ice and elevation

Foul odour

Fever greater than 101°F

Coldness, numbness or blanched white or bluish colour of the fingers or toes

Sudden calf pain or shortness of breath

Chest pain