Often, the after-effects of surgery are quite minimal. When in doubt, follow these surgery recovery guidelines or call our Tampa area office any time. Office phone number is 1-727-446-5633 or our toll free number is 1-800-881-8485.
Notify the office immediately if any the following occurs:
- There is excessive drainage or puss
- If you have severe pain
- If you have a fever over 100.4 degrees
During surgery recovery swelling of the area, including the thigh, knee, foot and ankle is common and can persist for several weeks. Elevate on the bed or sofa with knee elevated toes above the nose on 3 pillows for a ½ hour, three times a day. It is normal to have some swelling and redness the first few days. It may feel warm for several months. Bruising of the area of surgery (“black and blue”) is common and to be expected. Blistering may occur. If swelling is accompanied by pain, especially in the calf, this could be a sign of a blood clot. Call us if you have concerns about your postoperative progress or have any questions.
Cold Therapy for Control of Pain and Swelling
Application of ice to the surgical site for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes several times a day is extremely helpful in reducing swelling and pain while in surgery recovery.
Unfortunately most surgery is accompanied by some degree of pain. The effects of pain medicine vary among individuals. Taking the medication given to you is important. We advise that you take the medication as prescribed by your orthopedic doctor.
Surgery Recovery – Dos and Don’ts For the Rest of Your Life
All joint patients need to have a regular exercise program to maintain fitness and the health of the muscles around your joints. With both your orthopedic and primary care physicians’ permission you should be on a regular exercise program . Impact activities such as running and singles tennis may put too much load on the joint and are not recommended. High-risk activities such as downhill skiing are likewise discouraged because of the risk of fractures around the prosthesis. Infections are always a potential problem and you may need antibiotics for prevention. You will need prophylactic antibiotics for all evasive procedures like dental work.
What to Do for Exercise
Choose a Low-Impact Activity Such As:
- Recommended exercise classes
- Home treadmill
- Stationary bike
- Regular exercise at a fitness center
- Low-impact sports – golf, bowling, walking, gardening, dancing, swimming, pool exercise, etc.
What Not to Do:
- Do not run or engage in high-impact activities
- Do no participate in high-risk activities such as downhill skiing, walking on ice, etc.
For joint replacement patients, you will be seen for a wound check or send in your photos at 2-3 weeks and a follow-up visit at 6 weeks, and for yearly check-ups thereafter, to ensure continued success of your implant. X-rays are taken at these visits during your surgery recovery time. We generally like to see you each year for the first 3 years, then at 5 years and every 5 years thereafter. If you have any problems or symptoms then of course come whenever you feel necessary.