PAIN MANAGEMENT FOLLOWING SURGERY
- Narcotic pain medication will be prescribed for you to take after your surgical procedure to ensure that you will be as comfortable as possible. You will be given enough pain medication to keep you comfortable until your 1st post-operative visit. You should take the pain medication as needed, but be mindful of the instructions: take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. The instructions will be on the prescription label as well. Typically, you will be prescribed either Percocet or Vicodin, unless otherwise discussed prior to surgery.
- You should begin taking your narcotic pain medicine when you first experience pain or tingling in your extremity or prior to going to bed. This is to make sure that you stay ahead of the pain. You may also take 400-600mg of anti-inflammatories, such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) in addition to your narcotic pain medication. Or you can alternate, and take the anti-inflammatories in between your doses of your narcotic pain medication. You may NOT take Tylenol (acetaminophen) because this is often an active ingredient in the narcotic medication.
- Use of cryotherapy or ice is also beneficial in reducing your pain in addition to decreasing the amount of swelling that can occur after surgery. You should ice and elevate the extremity for 20 minutes at a time, at least 3 times per day. If you are using a cryocuff device you can use it for up to 1-2 hours at a time.