Post Operative Instructions

Lateral Epicondyle Debridement

Wound Care

  1. Keep your incision dry, but it is okay to take a shower and wash your hands. Do not soak or put the operative elbow in a tub, pool, hot tub, sink or ocean/river/lake for 2 weeks after surgery.
  2. Keep the surgical wound covered with a band aid or bandage for the first week. Please do not apply antibiotic ointment or use peroxide on the surgical site. There are no stitches to be removed. Leave the steri-strips in place until they fall off.
  3. Elevate your elbow above your heart when up. You may cross your wrist over your chest to the opposite shoulder or strike the "Statue of Liberty" pose with the operative arm.
  4. Report redness, swelling or drainage to our office at 804.320.1339.

Activity

  1. Wear the short arm splint full-time for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, removing only for hygiene. You will need to sleep in it as well.
  2. Move your fingers frequently, straightening them completely, and making a full fist several times per hours. You may gentle bend and straighten your elbow.
  3. Refrain from pushing, pulling, lifting or grabbing with the operative hand and do not lift anything that weighs 5 lbs for more. (ex. A gallon of milk weighs 8 lbs)

What should I expect during the first month after surgery?

  1. You should experience minimal pain, which is usually relieved by resting your arm, taking over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  2. It is common to have pain at the surgical site for several weeks. You will experience improvement in the intensity and frequency of pain but it may take 4-5 months to notice complete pain relief.
  3. It is common to have mild swelling at the surgical site, but usually is not associated with pain or redness.
  4. Wearing a splint may make your wrist feel "weak". This is very common but improves as you begin to use your wrist more. You will need to wear the splint for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery to prevent wrist motion that can aggravate the healing tendon at your elbow.
  5. Please make an appointment to be seen if you having concerns.