After your surgery, you will be on some new medications. Some of them are to help control your post-operative discomfort and some are medications to prevent you from developing blood clots. Additional medications may be given to you depending on the specific surgery you had.
You will be given a prescription for pain medication upon discharge from the hospital. They should only be taken as needed and not more than as prescribed. If alternative medications (tylenol, etc...) or modalities (ice and elevation) are controlling your pain, you do not need to keep taking the narcotics. We have found that the following modalities can be assist in pain management:
- heat before physical therapy
- ice to calm swelling
- anti-inflammatories (avoid in shoulder surgeries, particularly if any repair was performed)
Preventing Blood Clots
- One of the post-operative risks is blood clot formation. In order to help to prevent this, we recommend that our patients to take 325 mg of aspirin twice a day with food.
- For shoulder surgeries, we recommend taking this for 2 weeks post-op.
- For hip and knee surgerieswe recommend taking it for 6 weeks post-op.
- Patients who are on blood thinners prior to surgery or with a history of blood clots will be on alternative medications instead of aspirin. It is important to let your surgeon know if you have a history of clots or are on blood thinners before your surgery so a plan can be made to minimize your risk of complications.
- Refills for most pain medications cannot be given after hours or over the phone. Therefore, plenty of notice is needed if you are anticipating needing a refill.
- Please give our office at least 48 hours notice for medication refills. Due to Federal Law we are not able to call your pharmacy requesting a refill of narcotic pain medicins. We are also unable to refill medicine over the weekend. We can mail you a prescription or you can come by and pick it up at our front desk 8-4pm Monday-Friday.
- Pain medications may cause side effects which can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, excessive sedation, and headaches.
- All pain medications have the potential to be addictive. We encourage you to wean down from them as soon as possible.
- Aspirin can cause stomach upset. It is advised that you take it with food and let you physician know if it persists.
- If you start to have severe symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or tightness in the throat, please call 911 or go to the local emergency room to be evaluated immediately.
- Some pain medications contain Tylenol (acetaminophen or APAP) combined with another more potent pain medication. If this is the case you should monitor the amount of tylenol you take. No more than 3000 mg is recommended in any 24 hr pertiod.
- All patients will be given antibiotics for 24 hours while in the hospital to help prevent infections.
- If we are treating you for an infection, you may be on long term antibiotics.
- If you are on antibiotics, it is important to take the complete course of antibiotics as directed.
- Antibiotics can have side effects including diarrhea, vomiting, and rashs. Some find they can minimize GI distress by taking a probiotic with their antibiotic.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe reactions that may indicate an allergy including shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, or a persistent and worsening rash.