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Keep your dressing/splint/boot intact. Do NOT remove or get wet.

If your dressing gets wet or comes off, please call the office immediately

You may shower after 48 hours as long as the incisions/dressings stay clean and dry and you are stable enough to get in and out of the shower. Cast bags can be purchased at the local drug store.

Bleeding: It is normal to have some bloody discharge for the first 2-3 days after surgery. If the strikethrough becomes larger than a half dollar, please call the office or the physician on call.

General Instructions and Pain Management

Avoid alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs when taking pain medications, especially those that include narcotics. This may result in serious or possibly fatal side effects

You have been given prescriptions for pain. Please follow the instructions on the prescription strictly. Take your first dose when you arrive home, whether or not you are experiencing pain. It is better to stay ahead of your pain than trying to catch it.

Elevate your operative limb with 2-3 pillows at all times. Ideally, your leg will remain waist level or slightly higher.

Apply an ice bag or frozen peas behind the knee of your operative limb for 20 minutes once an hour until you are seen for your first post-surgery visit in clinic. Do not apply ice for longer or more frequently than this as it can result in unintended harm.

If you receive a nerve block; it is normal for it to last up to 24-36 hours. Lingering effects may occur for an additional 7-10 days as the full sensation returns

There may also be associated bruising down the leg to the foot. This is also normal and is due to gravity. Monitor this to ensure that it is not increasing after 2-3 days. If you are concerned, call the office.

There may be some numbness on the skin around the incision sites. This is normal. It may last for up to 6-12 months


Advance your diet as tolerated. Constipation is common with the use of pain medicine. You can usually ward off constipation by increasing both dietary fiber and fluid intake. Stool softeners are available if needed.

Blood Clots/DVT/Pulmonary Embolism(PE)

If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting spells, you MUST go to the emergency room for evaluation. If your symptoms are severe, please call 911 rather than going in a private vehicle. Notify my office secondarily. First priority is getting to the ER.

Traveling after surgery such as on long air flights or car trips may also increase the chance of blood clots. If you are traveling within 3 months of your surgery, please notify my office for advice regarding aspirin or other medication management.

Signs of a blood clot may include calf pain or cramping, diffuse swelling in the leg and foot, chest pain, coughing, or shortness of breath. Please call the office immediately if you notice any of these symptoms and follow the instructions above

When To Call My Office Or The Physician On Call Immediately

  • Your dressing gets wet or comes off
  • Pain is uncontrolled with 2 rounds of medications, ice and elevation
  • Your toes turn blue
  • Blood coming through your bandage, larger than a half dollar size
  • You develop shortness of breath, pain in your calf or you faint
  • You develop a fever greater than 100.4 degrees
  • You have not had a bowel movement in 48 hours

Click here to download the Post-Operative Instructions PDF version

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