Post Operative Instructions

  1. Elevation: Keeping your hand above the level of your heart reduces swelling and pain. The first couple of days after surgery is when this is most important. You may cross your wrist over your chest to the opposite shoulder or strike the "Statue of Liberty" pose with the operative hand. At night, place your arm on pillows to elevate. Move your shoulder frequently to help reduce stiffness. Continue elevating your arm until your follow up appointment.
  2. Dressing/Splints: Do not remove the surgical dressing after your surgery. The dressing is necessary to protect the surgical incision, prevent wound infections and keep your hand/wrist in the proper position after surgery.
    1. You may shower with the dressing in place by covering it with a plastic bag (secured with tape) or with Press-n-Seal or plastic wrap. Keep the dressing dry.
    2. There may be bloody drainage on the dressing – it can be normal for the incision to ooze for a day or two after surgery.
  3. Pain Management: You will be given a prescription for pain medication either prior to or on the day of surgery. Use as directed if needed.
    1. You may also take one of the following over the counter medications in addition to the prescription: Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen 400-800mg every 8 hours or Aleve 220-440mg every 12 hours if needed.
    2. Avoid Tylenol if you are taking the pain prescription as it usually has Tylenol combined with a narcotic. You may take Tylenol if you are not taking the pain prescription.
    3. A common side effect of narcotic medications is constipation: start taking a stool softener starting the day of surgery. Colace or Senna are over the counter stool softener found at pharmacies.
  4. Nausea: Pain medication or anesthesia-based nausea can occur after surgery. If it does, please notify Dr. Stuart's office and a medication can be prescribed for it.
  5. Follow up appointment: An appointment for follow up has been made for you on:

If you have a splint that was given or made for you in Dr. Stuart's office, please bring it to your post op appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to then, please don't hesitate to call 804.320.1339 and ask to speak with Dr. Stuart's team.