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Post-Operative Instructions

  1. Your hand and arm should be maximally elevated above the level of your heart. This will do more than any medication to decrease your pain and swelling.
  2. Keep your dressings dry. Apply a cast cover when bathing.
  3. Never remove your post-operative bandage unless instructed to do so by Dr. Cohen. He will remove it at the appropriate time in the office.
  4. Do not use an arm sling. This will force you to keep your hand below your heart and that will result in pain and swelling.
  5. Perform specific hand exercises only if you were instructed to do so by Dr. Cohen.
  6. You may not participate in sports or work until released to do so by Dr. Cohen.
  7. The area operated on will become swollen and discolored with bruising (that is normal). Please apply ice to the affected area as instructed by Dr. Cohen.
  8. If you have excessive bleeding, drainage, pain, redness, or fever (temperature measured at greater than 101 degrees) please contact Dr. Cohen.
  9. Pain medications were given to you in the office or at the time of surgery. If you are running low, please call during office hours for a refill. Pain medication will sometimes make you drowsy, dizzy, nauseated and/or constipated. You need to avoid driving, working, operating machinery or making major decisions while under the influence of these medications. If the pain medicine does not seem to be helping and you have pain that is out of control, please contact Dr. Cohen.
  10. The anesthesia that you had during surgery not only put you and your extremities to sleep, it also put your belly to sleep too. Please eat liquids and light foods initially until you can tolerate a regular diet. You may resume your normal diet when you can tolerate it.
  11. Never smoke after surgery. Smoking will impair your ability to heal surgical wounds and broken bones.
  12. Do not consume alcohol while taking pain medication.