POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS – ELBOW ARTHROSCOPY
October 1, 2018
You can move your elbow as much as tolerated. You should come out of your sling multiple times a day to move the elbow. The sling is for comfort only.
An ice machine will be provided to you prior to your surgery. This will help decrease swelling and pain after your surgery. Use the ice machine as much as possible when you get home at intervals of 30 minutes on and off. You should keep the ice machine for approximately two weeks. Do not use the ice machine while you are sleeping.
If you did not receive an ice machine, you can utilize regular ice at intervals of 20 minutes at a time – keep your dressing clean and dry.
In addition to icing your elbow, elevate your arm while at rest. This will help reduce swelling.
An injection of local anesthesia was injected into your elbow after the completion of the operation. This medication will wear off in 5 to 6 hours. To control your pain during this transition, you are to eat first and then begin taking the pain medication (e.g. Vicodin, Percocet, etc) immediately when you get home from surgery. This will prevent you from having severe pain. Take the pain medication every 4 hours until you go to bed. Two days after your surgery, you can supplement your pain medication with an anti-inflammatory (e.g. Advil, Aleve, etc.) – this will help you wean from the narcotic pain medication.
You have also been given a prescription for antibiotics – please take these as prescribed.
Keep your dressing clean and dry. You may remove the dressing two days after surgery. Please place waterproof band-aids over the incision sites. It is okay to shower two days after surgery – keep incisions clean and dry.
You may drive 3 to 5 days after surgery if you are not taking pain medication.
Please call the office prior to, or immediately following, your surgery in order to schedule a postoperative appointment. This should be scheduled 7-10 days after surgery. At that visit your stitches will be removed and you will be given a prescription for physical therapy.
If you develop a fever (101.5), redness or drainage from the surgical incision site, please call our office to arrange for an evaluation.