* Keep wounds clean and dry until otherwise instructed by the physician until your first postoperative visit unless otherwise directed. If you have been told you can shower, do not soak your incision or wound. Use a mild soap and allow the water to run over your wounds, etc. Do not put any ointments, powder or lotions on the wound.
* Elevate the injured extremity as much as possible following discharge to reduce swelling and to help with pain reduction.
* Keep your splint, cast, or external fixator clean and dry.
* You can resume your normal diet. You should eat foods that are nutritionally rich in order to assist with healing your fracture and wounds. You must take the Os-Cal with D as instructed by the orthopaedic surgeons, and a multivitamin is recommended for everyone.
* Follow weight bearing and activity restrictions given by your physician and physical therapist. These instructions have been given to you to provide you with the best chance for you to have a good outcome. If you have any questions about anything that you have been told or read, please call our office so that we can clarify any of this information for you.
* If you have a surgical incision, drain, splint/cast, external fixator, exposed wires, or IV device report to your physician:
* Any redness, swelling or red streaks around the site or change in appearance that concerns you.
* Change in usual type of drainage or if the drainage starts again after it has previously stopped.
* Discomfort (soreness and pain) becomes worse or changes.
* If you have a fever greater than 101˚F.
* If discharged on Coumadin (blood thinner), home health nursing will arrange for blood to be drawn bi-weekly and the results will be sent to your primary care provider or a physician that we have provided for you. Follow Coumadin precautions (periodic blood tests, use electric razor, don’t eat foods that are green and leafy, avoid activities involving tools which will cut and report any blood in urine or stool).
* Home Health/Physical Therapy and any equipment, if indicated, will be arranged prior to discharge and should be followed according to your doctor’s instructions. Reports will be sent to your physician.
* Use the incentive spirometer you were given in the hospital for 3 days after you leave the hospital on and hourly basis while awake, as you did in the hospital.
* No driving until your physician approves. Driving while on narcotics should be avoided because it is like driving while intoxicated. You should be able to walk a block without an assistive device before you can expect to drive safely.
* Stair climbing should be done with caution, using the guidelines taught by the physical therapist in the hospital.
* Discuss return to work/school status with your physician. When you return to work or school varies depending on your injury and your job. You should contact your employer or school and tell them that you have had surgery and have them send any disability or FMLA forms to 573-882-1760 ATTN: Paula. Please have them specify if you have to return to work with no restrictions or if you can return with modifications.
* Smoking and chewing tobacco has a negative effect on bone healing. If you are a smoker quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health and success of surgery.
* The use of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Aleve, Celebrex, or Aspirin, which are all called NSAIDS, is not recommended for pain control. Many research studies show that using NSAIDS may cause your fracture to take longer to heal or prevent the bone from healing at all. So we ask that while your fracture is healing that you do NOT use these medicines unless we okay it. Instead, use the medications ordered by your physician after surgery. Our office will provide you with narcotic pain medicine as indicated for your pain control. You CANNOT take additional Tylenol as most of our pain medicine already has a mixture of narcotics and Tylenol in it so you can cause liver problems by doing so. If you are having problems with pain, you need to call the orthopaedic office and talk to us and allow us to appropriately and safely treat your pain.
* You may resume sexual activity as long as comfort permits.
* Refer to the medication sheet for a list of your current medications. Take the medication list with you when you go to the doctor’s office.
* Wear comfortable clothing to your follow-up appointments in order for physician to examine your injury. Bring shorts to change into for the exam if it’s applicable.
* Keep a list of questions that you may have for your physician and bring that list with you to your appointments so that we may address all of your concerns while you are here. If you have forms, need refills, handicap parking tags, please request those things while you are here.
* If you have had multiple injuries and have multiple appointments, and live several hours away from Columbia with the trauma service, neurosurgery etc., please let Paula specifically know, so that she can assist you to coordinate all of these appointments on the same day to minimize travel.
* Call 573-882-6562 for problems or questions.
After hours /weekends call 573-882-4141 and ask for the Orthopaedics resident on call.
If you need a medication refill, please call our Medication refill line: (573) 882-2615
If you have a question and have access to the internet: