Post-Operative Instructions

Robert H. Bradley, M.D.

Carpal Tunnel Release
Wound Care

You will be discharged with a bulky dressing consisting of gauze and an ace bandage. Please remove the entire dressing 2 days after your operation and inspect the wound. Some bruising and swelling is normal. Keep your incision clean and dry. This will help reduce the risk of infection. Please do not use any ointments or creams on the incision until it is fully healed. You may clean any blood or drainage from the incision using peroxide. You will need to cover your dressings with a plastic bag when taking a shower to keep the incision dry. Please notify the clinic if you notice any increased redness or drainage from your incision site.

Pain

Local anesthetic is injected in and around the incision. This area and possibly some of the fingers may remain numb for several hours after surgery. When this medication wears off, you may need to take pain medications. If you experience excessive numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers, you may need to adjust the tightness of the ace bandage. Anti-inflammatories e.g. Advil (ibuprofen) or Naprosyn (naproxen) will also help with your symptoms.

Activity & Travel

Slight elevation of the hand for the first 24 hours after surgery will help prevent swelling and stiffness. Hand and finger movement should be continued and you should perform normal light activities after the operation. Do not pick up anything heavy. You may need help with certain household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. After the first 2 weeks, slowly increase your activity level until your recovery is complete.

What to Expect

You will have a scar that will be somewhat firm to the touch and tender for 6-8 weeks. Massaging the area firmly may help. You may find that your grip is weaker than previously and slightly painful. This should improve with time. Patients who may have had very numb fingers or severe atrophy (wasting) of the thumb muscles before surgery may never regain full nerve function. Recovery can be very slow (6-12 months).

Follow Up

You will be asked to return to the clinic two weeks after your operation to have your sutures removed. After the sutures are removed you will be allowed to get the hand wet in a bath or shower. You should avoid soaking the hand in dirty dish-water etc. You should also continue to avoid lifting heavy objects with the hand until healing is complete.

Print

Cervical Spine Surgery
Wound Care

Your incision site will likely be covered with Steri-strips. You may paint the Mercuroclear over the top of the Steri-strips daily for the first 2-3 days. Five to 7 days after your surgery you will need to wet the Steri-strips and peel them off the skin. After the Steri-strips are removed, you may shower and wash the incision. Until then, the incision should be kept dry. If there is no bone graft incision in your hip, you may sit in the tub as soon as you get home but keep the neck dry until the Steri-strips are removed. We recommend daily dressing changes. Once the Steri-strips are removed, you do not need to dress the incision again (unless your cervical collar irritates the wound). There are absorbable stitches under the skin (causing the incision to feel “bumpy” underneath) that will dissolve over time. We do NOT recommend the use of antibiotic ointments on your incision site. If you feel that additional cleansing is necessary, you may use hydrogen peroxide or Betadine.

Infection

If you notice any excess redness, drainage, fever, or any other obvious sign of infection, please contacts us.

Pain

We will discuss a prescription for pain before discharge. You are encouraged to use over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), and use the prescription pain medication for more severe pain if needed. Advil and Aleve work well but may interfere with the fusion process (so use these sparingly). Please try something over-the-counter before calling for a pain prescription refill (you may not need it).

Devices

We recommend wearing your cervical collar only for comfort following neck fusion, unless we have placed a rigid collar and instructed you not to remove it. It is important to keep your neck moving some after surgery to avoid stiffness. Avoid the extremes of lateral rotation, upward, and downward movement. The collar may help your neck relax if you are experiencing muscle spasms.

Medications

Continue any daily medications you were required to take before your surgery (unless we instruct you not to), and also any over-the-counter medication you would usually take for any other ache, pain, cold, or flu symptoms, etc. Constipation may be a problem due to limited activity, pain medicine, and fear of pain from straining to go. You may use any laxative that you use normally. Mineral oil works well (tastes bad) and doesn’t cause cramps. Try 2 tablespoons initially, repeat in 4 hours if no result; then use a Fleet’s enema if still no result.

Activity & Travel

If you had a fusion procedure (surgery from the front of the neck), do not drive for at least 2 weeks, and also try to stay out of the car during this time period, unless it is an emergency. Do not wear your collar while driving. If you had surgery on the back of your neck, and no fusion, we allow more movement of the neck earlier. You can probably begin driving short trips after 7-10 days, if the soreness is improved and you can comfortably turn to at least look in the rearview mirrors. We encourage walking. This will help build your strength up after anesthesia and surgery. Don’t pick up anything heavy, and avoid sudden movements of your neck.

Print

Lumbar Spine Surgery
Wound Care

Your incision site will either have Steri-strips or staples. You may paint the Mercuroclear over the top of the strips or staples daily for the first 2-3 days. Five to seven days after your surgery, you will need to wet the Steri-strips and peel them off the skin. If you have staples (metal clips), we will arrange a clinic visit 7-10 days after your surgery to remove these. A local health care provider may also remove your staples. After the Steri-strips or staples are removed, you may shower and wash the incision. Until then the incision should be kept dry. We recommend daily dressing changes. If the tape is irritating the skin, you may leave the dressing off after 4 days. Once the Steri-strips or staples are removed you do not need to bandage the incision again (unless your clothes irritate the wound). There are absorbable stitches under the skin (causing the incision to feel “bumpy” underneath) that will dissolve over time. We do NOT recommend the use of antibiotic ointments on your incision site. If you feel that additional cleansing is necessary, you may use hydrogen peroxide or betadine.

Infection

If you notice any excess redness, drainage, fever or any other obvious sign of infection, please contact the office.

Pain

We will discuss a prescription for pain before discharge. You are encouraged to use over the counter medicines like acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), ibuprofen (e.g., Advil) or naproxen (e.g. Aleve) and use the prescription pain medication for more severe pain if needed. Please try something over-the counter before calling for a pain prescription refill (you may not need it).

Medications

Continue any daily medications you were required to take before your surgery (unless we instruct you not to), and also any over-the-counter medication you would usually take for any other ache, pain, cold or flu symptoms etc. Constipation may be a problem due to limited activity, pain medicine, and fear of back pain from straining to go. You may use any laxative that you use normally. Mineral oil works well (tastes bad) and does not cause cramps. Try 2 tablespoons initially, if no result after 4 hours, repeat dose. If still no result, then use a Fleet's enema.

Activity & Travel

Do not sit for more than 30 minutes at a time for the first few days after surgery. It is better to stand, walk, or lie down. Alternate the cycle of sitting a few minutes with standing and walking, and lying down several times daily. Try to gradually spend more time up and around and less time sitting or lying down. We encourage walking. You should try to gradually build up to walking several blocks or a mile or more during the first few weeks after surgery, depending on your tolerance. Do not pick up anything heavy. Avoid any weight that puts a strain (or you think might) on your back. Avoid any twisting or bending during the first few weeks. If you need to pick up something from the floor, keep your back straight and kneel down (bend your knees) to pick it up. We prefer that you stay out of the car for at least two weeks after your surgery with the exception of getting home from the hospital and returning to the clinic. Avoid driving for the first 3 weeks after your surgery. After that, you may attempt short trips if you are doing well.

Print

 


 

F. Donovan Kendrick, M.D.

Cervical Spine Surgery
Wound Care

Keep your incision clean and dry until the staples are removed. Change the dressing as needed.

Infection

If you notice any excessive redness, drainage or any other obvious sign of infection, please contact the office.

Pain

We will discuss a prescription for pain before discharge. You are encouraged to use over the counter medications like acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) and use the prescription pain medication for more severe pain if needed. Please try something over the counter before calling for a pain prescription refill (you may not need it).

Activity & Travel

Most patients will need to limit their activity for the 1st 1-2 weeks. As you begin to feel better, you may begin to drive and resume light activity around the house. Sedentary work can be resumed at 2-4 weeks, however, manual labor may take 8-12 weeks.

What to Expect

It is normal to experience some tightness and even spasms between your shoulder blades and across the top of your shoulders after neck surgery. We recommend the use of heat or ice and massage to relax the muscles.

Follow Up

Please call the office for an appointment for your next office visit. Generally, this will be about two weeks after your surgery. Return to work can be anticipated in 2 to 4 weeks for patients having sedentary jobs and 8 to 12 weeks for patients whose job requires heavy manual labor.

Print

Lumbar Spine Surgery
Note

You have recently had spine surgery. The success of your surgery depends to some extent on the next few weeks. Therefore, it is very important that you follow these instructions as closely as possible.

Wound Care

Change your dressing as often as necessary to keep the wound clean and dry. You may want to use a bandaid to cover most incisions. If your dressing becomes wet or soiled, change the dressing immediately. Be certain to wash your hands and keep the wound clean. If you have metal staples on your incision, you will need to keep your back dry until the staples are removed. Otherwise, you may shower after five days. No ointment, creams or cleaning of the wound is required.

Activity & Travel

For the next two weeks, try to limit your activity as much as possible. ABSOLUTELY no lifting, straining, or bending. Stairs are okay if taken slowly. Spend most of your time standing or reclining. Sitting is discouraged. Do not drive for one week. Except for the trip home from the hospital, no car travel for the first week. After that, you may ride or drive short distances if you feel comfortable and safe.

Follow Up

Please call the office for an appointment for your next office visit. Generally, this will be about two weeks after your surgery. Return to work can be anticipated in 2 to 4 weeks for patients having sedentary jobs and 8 to 12 weeks for patients whose job requires heavy manual labor.

Print

 


 

Khaled M. Krisht, M.D.

Section Highlight

  • Download

    Patient Forms

    New patients can help speed along the intake process by filling out their intake forms before their first appointment.

Need Answers?

Our knowledgeable staff are only a phone call away. We can help guide you to the information you need.

Contact Us