We get lots of mail and always want to answer your inquiries. That’s why our staff has created this mini FAQ page for the most commonly asked questions. Just click on any question to display the answer inline on the page.
Call or email for an appointment typically 1 1/2 wks after surgery unless otherwise specified at the time of surgery. Be sure to let the staff know you had surgery.
See you in clinic and please call if you are have problems.
Possibly. The dressings should be snug but if really incomfortable then we recommend removing the ACE wrap and reapplying looser. Don’t be alarmed if you see swelling in the hand/fingers or extremity. This is normal after surgery when there is a dressing placed with an ACE compression wrap.
It depends on what you do for work and your type of surgery. We want you to get back to work ASAP.
Most carpal tunnel releases may return to work right away even if you are doing a lot of typing. However, if you had knee surgery and your work requires long periods of standing then you may need to be off work for 4-6 weeks.
Many times, we can send you back to work with limitations to avoid excessive pain at work. If you need notes for work we would be happy to fax them.
Don’t forget that you should not drive while on narcotics.
Yes, Remove your sling to re-adjust the straps. Get familiar with how the sling works. You should remove the sling for showers, moving the elbow so it doesn’t get stiff, and to take a break from the sling.
If you are looking for a neck pad for the neck strap, use an automotive seatbelt pad found at autoparts stores.
Most of the time I don’t converse with patients directly after surgery because you won’t remember the conversation. Blame that on anesthesia. Anesthetics have powerful amnestic capabilities that make it pointless to having an in-depth conversation. Don’t worry though, we can have a discussion when you come back to see me in the office. I also routinely try to let family know what happened during the surgery immediately after the operation. I can’t comment if they might have amnesia too.
Simply put, “If it hurts don’t do it.” It is okay to start moving and using the surgical extremity. If you have a splint or cast, the splint or cast will limit the motion necessary to protect the bone or joints. Start off slowly and listen to your body. Again, motion is good and starting to move those sore joints will help to recover faster.
Patients that have had knee surgery including most lower extremity surgeries may start weightbearing unless stated otherwise after surgery. If unable to fully weight bear then using crutches, walkers, canes, and/or wheelchair is recommended.
Regarding work activities, the above still holds true, “If it hurts don’t do it.” For example, if you had surgery on your hand and typing feels okay, go for it.
Yes and no, if the suture is black it is nylon material and this suture needs to be removed in the office. A white stitch is sometimes used which will dissolve. Many times especially for carpal tunnel releases we use a glue to close the wound. That glue eventually degrades. Stitches are usually taken out between 1.5 – 2.0 weeks from surgery.
It is usually rare to see post operative infections. Signs of infection are:
Normal surgical wounds have a component of the above due to the normal healing response but an infection really demonstrates a dramatic increase in the signs listed above. It really hurts! Call us immediately and/or send us a picture from your phone if worried.
This is the number one question patients have after surgery and can be difficult. The following are techniques we use frequently to help control the post operative pain experience. Try some of the tips and tricks, if that doesn’t help call us.
No, if you wake up after surgery and notice a hard splint on the extremity we usually recommend you keep it on. Keep it dry and clean.
There is no set rule on this but we usually have patients take their dressings off in 2 days. Washing the wound after removal of the dressings with soap and water is recommended. Bacteria hate soap and water! reapply a soft comfortable dressing to keep the wound clean. When in doubt, wash the wound.
Yes and No, Elevation can be helpful with swelling but frankly the extremity is going to swell no matter what position it is placed. You just had surgery and things swell. Try to elevate above heart level, but if it is uncomfortable place the extremity in the position that is least painful. If below heart level we won’t tell. Good luck!
No problem, most often I have you call the office for an appointment. Make it convenient for your schedule. We just like to see you back in the office in 1 ½ wks to confirm no complications with your surgery.