Post Operative Instructions

Fracture Care

SURGERY AND ANESTHESIA

The surgical procedure takes approximately 60-120 minutes and is done under general anesthesia.

DRESSING

Following surgery, the operative area will be wrapped in asplint for immobilization. If the upper extremity is affected, you will also receive a sling for comfort.The splint is to remain in place until your first post-operative appointment. Please do not attempt to remove it. You may shower; however, the entire splint must be wrapped in a bag to keep it completely dry. If the splint accidently becomes wet for any reason, please contact the office immediately. For all lower extremity surgeries, you will be required to use crutches which will be given to you at the time of surgery. You may not place any weight on the operative leg.

REST, ICE AND ELEVATION

Use an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies for the first few days following surgery to help with pain control. Ice is helpful in reducing swelling which minimizes the requirements for narcotics. Place the ice directly over the painful areas.

MEDICATION

You will be prescribed two medications following surgery: A pain medication and an anti-nausea medication.

Medication Tips:

  • Do not drive or drink alcohol beverages while taking pain medications.
  • Pain medication should be taken with food to help prevent any stomach upset. You may also take the prescribed anti-nausea medication.
  • Often pain medications will cause constipation. Eat high fiber foods and increase your water intake. You may also purchase a stool softener at any pharmacy and follow the recommended directions on the bottle.
  • You should resume taking your normally prescribed medications unless otherwise directed.

POST-OP APPOINTMENT AND PHYSICAL THERAPY

Your first post-operative appointment will be 7-10 days following surgery. At this appointment, we will remove the splint and check your incision site(s) to be sure they are healing properly. You may be transitioned into a cast or type of brace. Physical therapy will begin approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery once the bone has had adequate time to heal.

QUESTIONS/CONCERNS

Please contact the office by calling 703-810-5223 for any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F for 24 hours.
  • Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
  • Numbness, loss of color, or coolness to touch in hand/foot.
  • Redness or swelling in the calf that does not resolve overnight.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, CALL 911.