Will I be able to do everything I used to do after surgery?
While the goal of surgery is to restore function and get you moving without pain, there are usually some limitations...
The following are techniques we use frequently to help control the post-operative pain experience. Try some of the tips; if they are not helpful, please call us.
Try common over the counter pain medications. To best manage pain, we often recommend taking 800 mg of Motrin (Ibuprofen) and add a Tylenol Extra Strength including the narcotics prescribed after surgery. Motrin (Ibuprofen) is relatively safe and is prescribed at 800mg three times a day. Motrin usually comes in 200 mg tablets over-the-counter. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) can also help and can be combined with Motrin since it is a different type of drug. You should not take more than 4,000 mg of Tylenol within a 24-hour period. Remember that the narcotics we have prescribed usually have Tylenol, so take that into account when totalling Tylenol mgs.
Utilizing old-fashioned remedies Heat/Ice. Ice may decrease swelling, pain and inflammation. Though not mandatory, try it, you might find it helpful. To not frostbite the skin, please put a towel between ice and skin. If that isn’t working you may try heat. People always ask which is better heat or ice? It’s different for everyone. When cold out try heat, if hot out try ice. There is not enough science to ideally answer the question. A nice warm shower sometimes goes a long way.
Mind tricks to distract pain. Watch TV, movies, online videos. Anything to distract and preoccupy yourself with something else.
Elevation may help decrease swelling. No need to take this to the extreme. It sometimes is more uncomfortable trying to keep your hand raised. Usually we tell patients to elevate the extremity but in a comfortable position. Comfortable position is priority.