Post Op-Care

Hygiene & Wound Care

  • Follow discharge instructions related to dressing changes
  • Use proper hand hygiene.
  • Use barriers like a towel or clothing between your skin and surfaces until the wound is healed.
  • Keep pets away from surgical incisions.

Clothes & Linens

  • Wash and dry clothes on the warmest temperature recommended.
  • Do not share towels or clothes with others at home
  • Practice routine laundering of clothing, towels, and linens.

Controlling Swelling

  • Swelling is common after surgery and may get worse after exercise.
  • Elevate the affected extremity above your heart. Recliners, ottomans, and pillows are useful in accomplishing this goal.
  • Ice the area.
    • Avoid placing ice directly on your skin and limit use to 20-30 minutes at a time.
    • If you have been given an ice machine, please use it as directed.
    • Apply ice at least 4-5 times daily, but you may ice as often as every hour.
  • Ice pack recipe
    • Put 4 cups water and 1 cup rubbing alcohol in a gallon size sealable bag. Place inside a second bag to prevent leaking.

Home, Safe Home

Before you return home, make sure it is safe and hazard-free. Ask friends or family to help you rearrange rooms as needed. Avoid uneven or wet floors that might cause you to slip. 

Think Before You Move

When you return home, you may be using a walker or crutches. To avoid injury please think before you move. Avoid twisting and quickly turning around. As you go about your day, remember to move slowly and carefully.

Take it Easy

  • Slow down and rest when needed
  • Turn your entire body rather than stressing the affected area 
  • Don’t force any motion that causes pain
  • Don’t do any high-impact activities