Orthopedic surgery may result in some post-operative pain. Pain management is an important component of your post-operative care. For most surgeries, this management starts in the preoperative area when the anesthesiologist and/or your surgeon may administer a long acting regional block.
In recovery and at home, pain medication is used to reduce pain to a tolerable level, usually to five (5) and under on a scale of 0 – 10.
Remember that pain medication takes 20 – 40 minutes before becoming effective.
Do not take additional Tylenol/Acetaminophen while taking Narcotic pain medication. Most pain medication already has Tylenol/Acetaminophen in it. The maximum dose for Tylenol in a 24 hour period is 4000mg.
Keep the operative limb elevated above the level of the heart when possible for the first few days after surgery.
Ice is often an effective pain reliever. If advised by your surgeon on your discharge instructions, please use it. When applying ice or cold gel packs, place it in a towel or pillowcase before applying directly to skin to avoid burns. Although it seems that the coldness will not penetrate the big dressing, it does get through and can be very effective. Always keep your dressing dry. You may be given cold therapy, along with other durable equipment to assist with pain control, walking, or standing.