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General Post-Op instructions :: Postoperative Prescription Medications

General Post-Op instructions

MEDICATIONS: You will be given three prescription medications. One is a Narcotic to reduce pain, one is to control inflammation, and the last is an anti-nausea medication. The pain medication is a codeine derivative and should be taken only if necessary. The anti-inflammatory medication should be taken for all five days unless you experience side effects such as stomach pain or heartburn.

NERVE BLOCK + PAIN MEDICINE: If you received a nerve block from your anesthesiologist, prepare in advance for the nerve block to wear off. Nerve blocks generally last 12-18 hours after they are first administered. During this time period please take your pain medicine on a regular schedule as directed by your doctor until the nerve block loses its effect. In most cases, it is recommended that you take your medicine on a regular schedule for the first 36-48 hours. 

DRESSING: You may rremove your dressing after 48 hours. There should be Steri-Strips (small rectangle pieces of tape) over your incisions. Please leave them on until your post op visit. Do not apply anything (ointment, lotion, etc.) to the incision. During your 7-14 day post-op visit, any sutures will be removed, and new steri-strips will be placed over the incisions. Allow these new steri-strips to peel off over time. However, if you are placed in a splint after surgery, DO NOT REMOVE IT. This will stay on until you are seen at your post-op visit. Keep the splint dry.

TED HOSE:  These socks are to be worn on both legs for the first two weeks after surgery.  They serve to decrease the chance of a blood clot and to decrease swelling in the lower extremities.

SHOWERING: You may shower aafter 48 hours - running clean water over the incisions is fine. However, do NOT immerse/submerge the incision (no pools, tubs, lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.) until cleared by your doctor to a void risk of infection.

ICE/COLD THERAPY (if applicable): Continue cold therapy cuff at all times for the ffirst 24 hours after surgery. Refill with cold water every hour while awake. Icing is very important to decrease swelling/pain and to improve mobility. After 24 hours, continue to use the cuff 3-4 times a day, 15-20 minutes each time, to keep swelling to a minimum. It is very important that you keep a layer (ACE Wrap, towel, sheet, etc.) in between the ice and your skin. DO NOT apply ice directly to skin.

WEIGHT BEARING: There are instructions in your post-op packet that detail your weight bearing/crutches/sling restrictions. If you are unsure of these restrictions, please call your physician to get the exact information.

ACTIVITIES: Rest and elevate your leg or shoulder for the first 24 hours. Do NOT place a pillow under your knee. Elevate your leg with a pillow under your calf and ankle. Keep arm in sling as directed by your doctor.

***In addition, you should call your surgeon immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever of 101.5° F or 38.5°C or higher not relieved by Tylenol
  • Pain not relieved by prescribed medication
  • Excessive leg swelling and pain
  • Redness, swelling, bleeding, or drainage from your incision site
  • Edges of the incision coming apart
  • Sudden coldness or discoloration at the incision site
  • Difficult breathing, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

If after-hours, please contact the hospital or present to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation.


All prescriptions will be sent to your pharmacy prior to surgery. Should you need refills, please contact the clinic Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Refills will not be authorized outside of those hours. Please have the phone number available for the pharmacy that you would like to utilize for your refills. If you are having an allergic reaction to the medication that has been prescribed, please call the clinic immediately.

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group:

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