Post-Operative Instructions

Wrist Fracture

(You will receive your customized post-op instructions after your surgery.)

  1. REST, ICE AND ELEVATION

    Apply ice to the wrist intermittently for the first 24-48 hours. The cold may not completely get through the splint, but it will still help with pain and swelling. Elevate the hand on 2 pillows as much as possible to allow swelling to drain into the upper arm, rather than down into the fingers.

  2. EXERCISE

    Move your fingers and use them as much as the splint allows, but don’t lift anything heavier than a cell phone or cup of coffee. Remove the sling and move the elbow at least 2-3 times a day. Therapy will be scheduled after your first postoperative appointment.

  3. MEDICATION

    • Motrin 800 mg every 8 hours as needed for pain
    • Vicodin or Percocet as needed for severe pain

    To minimize gastric upset from narcotics or anti-inflammatory medicine, eat adequate amounts of food. Increase fluid and fiber intake to ease constipation from pain medicine. Stool softeners (Colace or Pericolace) can also be useful for constipation.

  4. DRESSING/SHOWERING

    Slight bleeding through the splint may be noticeable, but excessive bleeding should be reported to your surgeon. Keep the splint dry and cover with a bag or cast cover for bathing. Use rubbing alcohol to remove the prep solution from the skin.

  5. QUESTIONS/CONCERNS

    Your surgeon should be contacted by calling 703-810-5210, 24 hours a day for any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F.
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.-CALL 911 and go to the nearest emergency room.
    • Numbness, loss of good color or coolness in the arm.
    • Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
    • Excessive bleeding or vomiting.
  6. FOLLOW-UP

    Your post-operative follow-up appointment is scheduled on __________________________________.

    If you need to verify or change your post-op appointment, please call 703-277-BONE (2663).