After your procedure
The first few nights, we encourage you to use the pain medication prescribed for you as needed to maintain your pain level at 3/10 or below. Please notify the clinical staff right away if your pain is not well-controlled.
Your dressings may become moist the first night as a result of the arthroscopic fluid that was administered during your procedure. If you are concerned, please call our office. We will change the dressing at your post-operative visit. You may reinforce the dressing with a rolled bandage from the pharmacy if it is slipping down or wet.
Our patients take aspirin daily for one month starting the day after surgery for the prevention of blood clots.
Ice machines that were purchased or rented will be picked up during your 1st day post-operative visit. This will aid in decreasing swelling and increasing comfort. Icing instructions will be given to you post-operatively based on your specific needs.
We request that you keep your bandages and incision clean and dry. You may shower per the instructions of the clinical staff which will be provided during your post-operative appointment. Patients are advised to purchase a shower bag to protect the bandages and incisions so they will be protected during showering (available at our office).
Incision / portal care:
You will be instructed on wound care when you come in for your post-operative visit. Your portals (arthroscopy holes) will be covered with sterile dressings in the operating room. The clinical staff will evaluate your dressing and advise on care during your post-op.
We will see you back in The Stone Clinic the day after surgery at your scheduled appointment time. You will be here at least two hours. We will also need to see you 14 days post-op, one month, three months, six months, one year, and then yearly thereafter. Depending on the procedures performed, x-rays and/or an MRI may be required. Please be diligent about follow-up appointments so that we can assess your outcome and improve the quality of care for all patients.
Elective surgery during the post-operative period:
We do not recommend patients get ANY elective surgery including dental work and plastic surgery, for 6 months following any implant surgery which involve the placement of allografts, hardware, uni-lateral joint replacement and total joint replacement). The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) no longer suggest antibiotics be given prior to dental procedures, regardless of what type of surgery was performed and we follow their guidelines. If your dentist provides antibiotics prior to dental procedures as part of his or her protocol, we defer to his or her protocol.
Arrange for physical therapy appointments at our office or a prescription can be given for therapy close to your home. If you arrange for physical therapy near your home, please ask your therapists to fax progress notes to our office at (415) 563-3301. We will reserve two weeks of appointments for daily post-operative physical therapy to ensure adequate one on one time during your initial post-operative recovery period. We advise patients to book further physical therapy sessions well in advance due to limited availability of appointments.
Once you return home, you must continue your physical therapy as directed The Stone Clinic rehab team.
Post-operative travel tips
If you will be flying soon after your surgery, the following are suggestions for the prevention of blood clots:
- Avoid constrictive clothing
- Avoid leg crossing
- Change positions frequently while seated
- Move around in the plane seat and cabin as much as possible. (Do isometric calf exercises by flexing and rotating the ankles and wiggling the toes for a few minutes every half hour to prevent blood from pooling in the feet.)
- Request bulkhead seating where there is more room to stretch your legs. We can provide a letter to the airline.
- Stay well-hydrated with water or non-caffeinated soft drinks or juices
- Take only short naps, unless a normal sleeping position can be attained, such as in the business-class recliner seats
- Wear compression stockings
- Take a low dose aspirin before flying
Post-surgical icing routine
Day after surgery:
You will also see a physical therapist at The Stone Clinic, where you will be instructed on a new icing schedule.