Pain Control

Typically, we will prescribe a narcotic for the immediate post-operative period to control pain.

  • In most cases, 1-2tablets taken every 4 hours is sufficient for relief.
  • Most patients need this only for the first 2 weeks following surgery.
  • You should reduce or discontinue this medication as pain decreases.
  • These medications contain a large dose of Tylenol. Therefore, you should not take additional Tylenol at the same time.
  • Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin, for 3months following surgery as these medications may block proper bone healing.

Eating and Drinking

You may resume a normal diet following your procedure. We ask that you refrain from alcoholic beverages especially while taking pain medication.

You should avoid constipation. Pain medicines and anesthesia can be very constipating. If you experience constipation you can try any or all of the following:

  • Gentle physical activity.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Taking over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives, such as milk of magnesia or Dulcolax.

Activity Restrictions

  • Do not drive while on pain medication.
  • No smoking.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise.
  • Avoid heavy lifting.
  • No heavy housework for 1month.
  • Bed rest may slow your recovery.
  • Walking is the best exercise and daily walking is strongly recommended.
  • Gradually increase the length and distance of your walks.
  • We suggest starting inside your home, then continuing out and around the yard as tolerated and progressing to short walks in your neighborhood or shopping mall.
  • Once you are able to walk without difficulty, you may drive.

Incision Care

  • The outer dressings can be removed on the 3rd day after your surgery, at which time your incision can be left uncovered.
  • Do not apply lotions or cream to incisions.
  • Steri-Strips will cover the incision(s) and will begin to fall off in approximately 7-10 days.
  • If they have not fallen off in 2 weeks, you may remove them.
  • You may begin showering 3 days after surgery.
  • After showering pat area dry; do not rub the incision.
  • Although you may shower, you will have staples in place. Do not get your head wet until the staples have been removed.
  • Wear a shower cap or take a bath during this time.

Warning Signs

Please call your physician immediately at (804) 828-9165 if you experience the following:

  • Constant bleeding from the incision that will not stop after applying direct pressure for 10 minutes.
  • If your incision develops redness or swelling, or a change in wound drainage, such as an increase in amount, a foul order or change in color.
  • Change in mental status, such as unusual behavior, confusion and difficulty walking.
  • A temperature of more than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Follow up:

  • Please call the office your first week home to report your progress.
  • If a post-operative appointment was not scheduled prior to your surgery, please call the office within 48 hours of being discharged to schedule your first post-operative visit.
  • Your estimated return to work will be determined between you and your physician, but you should expect to be out of work for an average of 4-6 weeks or more.