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Ortho: Trauma
What about swelling of the injured extremity?
Post operative swelling of an injured swelling is a normal response and can continue for up to 1-2 years. Initially it is the body’s way of trying to help the body heal this extremity. Swelling can also increase during the healing process as you become more active because the way your body gets rid of fluid is damaged with your injury too. So a lot of patients notice that swelling returns or worsens as they start returning to their normal activities. When swelling increases, typically so does your pain. You can have throbbing pain. The first thing to do when your leg swells is to elevate it above your heart. Rest and ice will help as well. If the swelling does not improve with rest, ice, and elevation and pain continues to increase, you should contact our office during office hours or proceed to the ER after hours.
After your incisions are healed and you have recovered for a few months but have persistent swelling, you can purchase compression stockings (also known as Jobst stockings or Ted hose). These are placed in the morning right out of bed and the purpose of these stockings is to assist in preventing the swelling from getting so far out of control. These stockings have a “mechanism” that helps to push that retained fluid back toward the heart so that the swelling doesn’t just remain in the lower extremity and cause pain. The swelling typically resolves overnight when the leg is elevated. If there is some kind of problem with swelling that does not resolve, you should call our office.

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