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Post-Op Instructions

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery.

These are general guidelines, if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call, (615) 284-5800.

Arthroscopic Surgery of the Ankle

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery. These are general guidelines, if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Dressing and Wound Care

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is irrigated with water. There will typically be two or three small incisions closed with sutures. Your ankle will be wrapped with gauze and then covered with an ace bandage. Water may gradually leak through these incisions, saturating the bandage. This blood tinged drainage may persist for 24–36 hours. If it has not significantly decreased by this time, please call our office.

Swelling in the toes is usually due to constriction by the ace bandage. If it becomes too tight, the ace bandage should be loosened and the leg elevated above the level of your heart until the swelling decreases.

The gauze bandage may be removed the day after surgery. The incisions should be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and water then covered with small bandaids. As soon as the incisions are dry, you may leave them uncovered. Do not use ointments such as Neosporin on the incisions. Do not get the incisions wet until the sutures are removed.

If the incisions show any signs of infection, please contact our office. Specifically, if there is increased redness, persistent drainage, if you have fever, or if the pain does not progressively decrease, you should call the office.

Reapplying the ace bandage for compression can help minimize swelling. It should be worn while you are up and about. Otherwise, avoid any constrictive dressings or bandages as they might increase the chance of complications.

Ice

During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 24 hours. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 15 minutes at a time every two to three hours. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.

Ambulation and Movement

Crutches and restricted activities are very important following your surgery. The incisions around your ankle are especially prone to persistant drainage if they are overly irritated by activity. This drainage can lead to an infection. Please try to use your crutches and curtail your activities to allow the incisions to heal properly.

Elevation of your leg above the level of your heart can be very helpful in minimizing discomfort and swelling, especially in the first 48 hours following surgery.

Your level of discomfort will most often be your best guide in determining how much activity is allowed. Remember that it is very easy to “over-do” in the first few days after surgery and any increase in pain or swelling usually indicates that you need to decrease your activities. Please be careful on slippery surfaces, steps or anywhere you might fall and injure yourself.

Medications

You will be given a prescription for pain medication. If you have any known drug allergies, check with the nurse prior to taking any medication. Please note that we are unable to call in prescriptions for narcotics after regular office hours. If you need a refill, call the office early in the day so the nurse can refill your prescription. This is especially important if the weekend is approaching.

Some medications do have side effects. If you have any difficulty with itching, nausea, or other side effects, discontinue the medication immediately and call our office. Pain medication often causes drowsiness and we advise that you do not drive, operate machinery or make important decisions while taking medication.

Aspirin serves as a mild blood thinner and may decrease the chance of blood clots forming in the leg. Although this is uncommon, it can be a difficult problem. If you are able to take aspirin, you should take one aspirin (5 grains) twice daily for two weeks following your surgery. It is best to take one in the morning and one in the evening and to avoid taking them on an empty stomach.

If you are under the age 16 or have any unusual medical problems, please check with the nurse about whether you should take aspirin.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begins within a few days after your surgery. The therapist will outline an exercise program specific to your type of surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to help regain the mobility and strength in your ankle. If you have any questions regarding your exercise program, please contact the physical therapist.

First Post-Operative Visit

Your first post-operative appointment will be within a week following your surgery. The findings at surgery, long-term prognosis, and plans for rehabilitation will be discussed at this appointment. If you are not aware of when your appointment is, please contact our office.

Communications

If you are having any problems, contact us right away. Please call the office number, (615) 284-5800, and the answering service will contact the nurse or doctor on call.

Remember, if your pain increases, check for signs of infection (redness, fever, etc.), decrease your activities, use ice and take your pain medication as prescribed. If the pain persists, or if there are signs of infection, call our office.

 

Arthroscopic Surgery of the Elbow

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery. These are general guidelines; if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Dressing and Wound Care

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is irrigated with water. There will be several small incisions closed with sutures. Your elbow will be wrapped with gauze and then covered with an ace bandage. Water may gradually leak through these incisions, saturating the bandage. This blood-tinged drainage may persist for 24–36 hours. If it has not significantly decreased by this time, please call our office.

Swelling in the forearm is usually due to constriction by the ace bandage. If it becomes too tight, the ace bandage should be loosened and the arm elevated above the level of your heart until the swelling decreases. The gauze bandage may be removed the day after surgery. The incisions should be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and then covered with small Band-Aids. As soon as the incisions are dry, you may leave them uncovered. Do not use ointments such as Neosporin on the incisions.

You may shower the day after surgery, but avoid running water directly over the incisions. The incisions should not be soaked (i.e., bathtub, hot tub, swimming pool, etc.). If the incisions show any signs of infection, please contact our office. Specifically, if there is increased redness, persistent drainage, if you have fever, or if the pain does not progressively decrease, you should call the office.

Ice

During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 24 hour. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 15 minutes at a time every two to three hours. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.

Movement and Activity

You will be provided with an arm sling, which may only be needed for comfort for a day or two. Gently working your fingers and hand will help enhance the circulation in your arm. Elevation of your arm above the level of your heart can be very helpful in minimizing discomfort and swelling, especially in the first 48 hours following surgery. Your level of discomfort will most often be your best guide in determining how much activity is allowed. Remember that it is very easy to “over-do” in the first few days after surgery and any increase in pain or swelling usually indicates that you need to decrease your activities.

Medications

You will be given a prescription for pain medicine. If you have any known drug allergies, check with the nurse prior to taking any medication. Please note that we are unable to call in prescriptions for narcotics after regular office hours. If you need a refill, call the office early in the day so the nurse can refill your prescription. This is especially important if the weekend is approaching. Some medications do have side effects. If year old have any difficulty with itching, nausea, or other side effects, discontinue the medication immediately and call our office. Pain medication often causes drowsiness and we advise that you do not drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions while taking medication.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begin a few days after your surgery. The therapist will outline an exercise program specific to your type of surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to facilitate regaining the function of your elbow. If you have any questions regarding your exercise program, please contact the physical therapist. If you are unaware of when or where your first therapy appointment is, please contact the office and speak with the nurse, who can help arrange it.

First Post-Operative Visit

Your first post-operative appointment will be within a week of your surgery. The findings at surgery, long-term prognosis, and plans for rehabilitation will be discussed at this appointment. If you are unsure about when this appointment will be, please contact the office.

Communications

If you are having any problems, contact us right away. If you need help after 5:00pm, please call the office number (615) 284-5800, and the answering service will contact the nurse or doctor on call.

Remember, if your pain increases, check for signs of infection (redness, fever, etc.), decrease your activities, use ice, and take your pain medication as prescribed. If the pain persists, or if there are signs of infection, call our office.

 

Arthroscopic Surgery of the Hip

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery. These are general guidelines, if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Dressing and Wound Care

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is irrigated with water. There will typically be three small incisions closed with sutures. Your hip will be covered with a bulky dressing. Water may gradually leak through these incisions, saturating the bandage. This blood-tinged drainage may persist for 24–36 hours. If it has not significantly decreased by this time, please call our office.

The bandage may be removed the day after surgery. The incisions should be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and water then covered with an adhesive bandage. As soon as the incisions are dry, you may leave them uncovered. Do not use ointments such as Neosporin on the incisions. You may shower the day after surgery, but avoid water running directly over the incisions. The incisions should not be soaked (e.g., bathtub, hot tub, swimming pool, etc.).

If the incisions show any signs of infection, please contact our office. Specifically, if there is increased redness, persistent drainage, if you have fever, or if the pain does not progressively decrease, you should call the office.

Ice

During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 24 hours. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 15 minutes at a time every two to three hours. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.

Ambulation and Movement

Unless you have been otherwise instructed, you will be allowed to bear as much weight on your leg as is comfortable immediately after surgery. Crutches may be used as necessary to help decrease discomfort while walking for the first few days after surgery. Please use crutches at least until your first physical therapy appointment.

Your level of discomfort will most often be your best guide in determining how much activity is allowed. Remember that it is very easy to overdo in the first few days after surgery and any increase in pain or swelling usually indicates that you need to decrease your activities. Please be careful on slippery surfaces, steps, or anywhere you might fall and injure yourself.

Medications

You will be given a prescription for pain medication. If you have any known drug allergies, check with the nurse prior to taking any medication. Please note that we are unable to call in prescriptions for narcotics after office hours. If you need a refill, please call early in the day so the nurse can call in your prescription. This is especially important if the weekend is approaching.

Some medications do have side effects. If you have any difficulty with itching, nausea, or other side effects, discontinue the medication immediately and call our office. Pain medication often causes drowsiness and we advise that you do not drive, operate machinery or make important decisions while taking medication.

Aspirin serves as a mild blood thinner and may decrease the chance of blood clots forming in the leg. Although this is uncommon, it can be a difficult problem. If you are able to take aspirin, you should take one aspirin (325 mg) twice daily for two weeks following your surgery. It is best to take one in the morning and one in the evening and to avoid taking them on an empty stomach. If you are under the age of 16 or have any unusual medical problems, please check with the nurse about whether you should take aspirin.

Exercise/Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begins within a few days after your surgery. The therapist will outline an exercise program specific to your type of surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to help you regain the use of your hip in a safe and progressive fashion. If you have any questions regarding your exercise program, please contact the physical therapist. If you are unaware of when or where your therapy is, please call the nurse and she can help you determine this.

First Post-Operative Visit

Your first post-operative appointment will be within one week of your surgery. The findings at surgery, long-term prognosis, and plans for rehabilitation will be discussed at this appointment. If you are unsure of when your first post-op visit with Dr. Byrd is, please call the office and someone will help get one scheduled.

Communications

If you are having any problems, contact us right away. If it is after office hours, the answering service will contact the nurse or doctor on call.

Remember, if your pain increases, check for signs of infection (redness, fever, etc.), decrease your activities, use ice, and take your pain medication as prescribed. If the pain persists, or if there are signs of infection, call our office (615) 284-5800.

 

Arthroscopic Surgery of the Knee

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery. These are general guidelines, if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Dressing and Wound Care

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is irrigated with water. There will typically be two or three small incisions. Your knee will be wrapped with gauze and then covered with an ace bandage. Water may gradually leak through these incisions, saturating the bandage. This blood tinged drainage may persist for 24–36 hours. If it has not significantly decreased by this time, please call our office.

Swelling in the leg, calf or ankle is usually due to constriction by the ace bandage. If it becomes too tight, the ace bandage should be loosened and the leg elevated above the level of the heart until the swelling decreases.

The gauze bandage may be removed the day after surgery and the incisions should be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and water then covered with small band aids. As soon as the incisions are dry, you may leave them uncovered. Do not use ointments such as Neosporin on the incisions. You may shower the day after surgery, but the incisions should not be soaked (i.e., bathtub, hot tub, swimming pool, etc.). If the incisions show any signs of infection, please contact our office. Specifically, if there is increased redness, persistent drainage, if you have fever, or if the pain does not progressively decrease, you should call the office.

Reapplying the ace bandage for compression can help minimize swelling. It should be worn while you are up and about. Otherwise, avoid any constrictive dressings or bandages as they might increase the chance of complications.

Ice

During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 24 hours. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 15 minutes at a time every two to three hours. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.

Ambulation and Movement

Unless you have been otherwise instructed, you will be allowed to bear as much weight on your leg as is comfortable immediately after surgery. Crutches may be used as necessary to help decrease discomfort. They are usually only needed for a day or two.

Elevation of your leg above the level of your heart can be very helpful in minimizing discomfort and swelling, especially in the first 48 hours following surgery. This is most easily accomplished by placing two to three pillows length wise under your knee so that your whole leg is supported.

Your level of discomfort will most often be your best guide in determining how much activity is allowed. Remember that it is very easy to “over-do” in the first few days after surgery and any increase in pain or swelling usually indicates that you need to decrease your activities. Please be careful on slippery surfaces, steps or anywhere you might fall and injure yourself. If you feel unsteady, ask someone to help you.

Medications

You will be given a prescription for pain medication. If you have any known drug allergies, check with the nurse prior to taking any medication. Please note that we are unable to call in prescriptions for narcotics after office hours. If you need a refill, call the office early in the day so the nurse can call in your prescription. This is especially important if the weekend is approaching.

Some medications do have side effects. If you have any difficulty with itching, nausea, or other side effects, discontinue the medication immediately and call our office. Pain medication often causes drowsiness and we advise that you do not drive, operate machinery or make important decisions while taking medication.

Aspirin serves as a mild blood thinner and may decrease the chance of blood clots forming in the leg. Although this is uncommon, it can be a difficult problem. If you are able to take aspirin, you should take one aspirin (5 grains) twice daily for two weeks following your surgery. It is best to take one in the morning and one in the evening and to avoid taking them on an empty stomach. If you are under 16 or have any unusual medical problems, please check with the nurse about whether you should take aspirin.

Exercise/Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begins within a few days after your surgery. The therapist will outline an exercise program specific to your type of surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to help regain the mobility and strength in your knee. If you have any questions regarding your exercise program, please contact the physical therapist. If you are unsure about when or where your visit is, please call the nurse and she can help clarify what you need to be doing.

First Post-Operative Visit

Your first post-operative appointment will usually be within a week following your surgery. The findings at surgery, long-term prognosis, and plans for rehabilitation will be discussed at this appointment. If you are unaware of when your post-op appointment with Dr. Byrd is, please call the office and someone will help get you scheduled.

Communications

If you are having any problems, contact us right away. Please call the office number, (615) 284-5800. If it is after hours the answering service will contact the nurse or doctor on call.

Remember, if your pain increases, check for signs of infection (redness, fever, etc.), decrease your activities, use ice and take your pain medication as prescribed. If the pain persists, or if there are signs of infection, call our office.

 

Arthroscopic Surgery of the Shoulder

The following information is designed to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding what to expect and what to do after arthroscopic surgery. These are general guidelines, if you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Dressing and Wound Care

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is irrigated with water. There will typically be two or three small incisions covered with a bulky dressing. After surgery, water may gradually leak through these incisions, saturating the bandage. This blood tinged drainage may persist for 24–36 hours. If it has not significantly decreased by this time, please call our office.

Please note: If you had a rotator cuff repair or an open shoulder stabilization procedure, you may have a longer incision (2–3 inches) along with the several small incisions. This larger incision does have a suture that runs through the middle of it.

You may remove the dressing the day after surgery. The incisions may be cleaned daily with hydrogen peroxide and water then covered with band aids. Do not use ointments such as Neosporin on the incisions. As soon as the incisions are dry, you may leave them uncovered. You may shower the day after surgery, but the incisions should not be soaked (i.e., bathtub, hot tub, swimming pool, etc.).

If you have the longer incision please do not get it wet. You may shower with a water-proof type dressing. The suture will be removed at your post-op appointment.

If the incisions show any signs of infection, please contact our office. Specifically, if there is increased redness, persistent drainage, if you have fever, or if the pain does not progressively decrease, you should call the office.

Ice

During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 24 hours. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 15 minutes at a time every two to three hours. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.

Movement and Activity

Unless you have been otherwise instructed, you will be allowed to gently move your shoulder/arm as much as is comfortable immediately after surgery. An arm sling will be provided and can be used as necessary for comfort.

If you had a rotator cuff repair or surgery for shoulder instability or dislocations you will be placed in a shoulder immobilizer after your surgery. You will need to wear this immobilizer at all times (day and night) for several weeks following your operation. You may take it off to shower and in order to put on a shirt. Please do not move your shoulder any more than you are instructed. If you have questions regarding how much you should be moving your arm, please call the nurse and she will discuss this with you.

Your level of discomfort will most often be your best guide in determining how much activity allowed. Remember, however, that it is very easy to “over-do” in the first few days after surgery and any increase in pain or swelling usually indicates that you need to decrease your activities.

Medications

You will be given a prescription for pain medication. If you have any known drug allergies, check with the nurse prior to taking any medication. Please note that we are unable to call in prescriptions for narcotics after office hours. If you need a refill, please call the office early in the day so the nurse can call in your prescription. This is especially important if the weekend is approaching.

Some medications do have side effects. If you have any difficulty with itching, nausea, or other side effects, discontinue the medication immediately and call our office. Pain medication often causes drowsiness and we advise that you do not drive, operate machinery or make important decisions while taking medication.

Exercise/Physical Therapy

Physical therapy usually begins within a few days after your surgery. The therapist will outline an exercise program specific to your type of surgery. The purpose of physical therapy is to help regain the mobility and strength in your shoulder. If you have any questions regarding your exercise program, please contact the physical therapist. If you do not know when or where your first therapy is, please contact the nurse and she can help clarify what you need to be doing.

First Post-Operative Visit

Your first post-operative appointment will be within a week following your surgery. The findings at surgery, long-term prognosis, and plans for rehabilitation will be discussed at this appointment. If you are unsure of when your follow up visit with Dr. Byrd is, please call the office and someone will help to get you scheduled.

Communications

If you are having any problems, contact us right away. Please call the office number, (615) 284-5800. If it is after office hours the answering service will contact the nurse on call.

Remember, if your pain increases, check for signs of infection (redness, fever, etc.), decrease your activities, use ice and take your pain medication as prescribed. If the pain persists, or if there are signs of infection, call our office.

Dr. Thomas Byrd - Nashville Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Dr. Thomas Byrd - Nashville Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Hip - Nashville Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Sports Medicine - Nashville Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Physical Therapy - Nashville Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Nashville Sports Medicine Foundation - Research & Education
NSMF is a non-profit organization established to encourage, support, and nurture research and education directed...
Arthroscopy Association of North America American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine International Society of Arthroscopy Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine International Society for Hip Arthroscopy (ISHA)
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