Post-Operative Instructions for Hand Surgery
1. REST, ICE, AND ELEVATION
Remain generally at rest. Elevate your hand higher than your heart for the first 48 hours. Dressing must be kept clean and dry. Cover the dressing with a plastic bag when bathing. Range of motion of the fingers that are not incorporated into the dressing/cast is important. Swelling of the fingers and hand is normal after upper extremity surgery and can be minimized by elevation and range of motion.
Take the following medication as directed:
- Percocet or your prescribed narcotic every 4-6 hours for pain. You may take Ibuprofen, 400-600mg, (or another anti-inflammatory) 2 hours after the Percocet if you are still in pain.
- Phenergan 1 tablet every 6-8 hours as needed for nausea
Do not take Tylenol with the Percocet.
Pain Medication Tips:
- Do not drive while taking pain medications.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking pain medications.
- Pain medication should be taken with food as this will help prevent any stomach upset.
- Often pain medications will cause constipation. Eat high fiber foods and increase your fluid intake if possible.
- To alleviate constipation, purchase a stool softener at any pharmacy and follow the recommended directions on the bottle.
Slight bleeding through the dressing is common.
Dressing/cast must be kept dry. Modify your bathing techniques. Cover your dressing/cast with a plastic bag when bathing. Please keep the splint on until your clinic or therapy appointment.
Your surgeon can be contacted by calling 703-810-5213 Option 3 (Tysons) or 703-810-5202 Option 3 (Reston), 24hours a day for any of the following symptoms:
- Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, CALL 911.
- Loss of good color or coolness in the fingers.
- Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
- Excessive bleeding or vomiting.
Your post-op appointment has been scheduled on ______________________at ____________.
If you need to or change your post-op appointment, please call 703-277-BONE (2663)
Please make an appointment with Hand Therapy within ___ days.