Postop Wrist Fracture
You will use a sling following surgery. This should be worn as needed for comfort or as directed by your surgeon. Elevation following surgery is important. Do not walk with your hand hanging down at your side.
Moving Your Hand & Wrist
You will be placed in a splint during surgery. You may gently move your elbow (if it is not included in the splint) and shoulder following surgery. Your surgeon will remove the splint at your first clinic visit and either transition you to another splint/brace or explain how to progress your range of motion.
Please note that with the dressings placed during surgery, you may notice decreased benefit from the ice. Use as needed and if you notice benefit. Ice is most helpful in the first 3 days after surgery, but can help up to 2 weeks after surgery. You may use a commercially available ice bag or fill a large plastic bag with ice and water. (Do not place a plastic bag directly on your skin, rather place a towel on your wrist in between your skin and the ice bag.) You can ice your wrist 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off throughout the day. Do not ice an area longer than 30 minutes at a time, as this can cause frost bite. We do not recommend that you use heat, as this can increase swelling.
Leave your dressing clean and dry and do not remove until your postoperative clinic visit. Your surgeon will remove the dressing and discuss wound care at that time.
Narcotic pain medicine (such as Percocet – oxycodone or Norco – hydrocodone): Take this AS NEEDED only. Start with Percocet (stronger) if given a prescription for multiple narcotics. Transition to Norco (less potent) as your pain improves.
You may stop narcotics whenever you can tolerate the pain. Do not take additional Tylenol (also called acetaminophen) with these medicines, as they already have Tylenol in them. You may SUBSTITUTE Tylenol for a narcotic pill if you
choose to. Be certain that you do not exceed the maximum Tylenol dose on the Tylenol bottle.
Stool softener: Pain medicines often cause constipation. It is best to take this medicine when you start taking narcotics and before you have a problem.
Zofran (ondansetron): You may take this medication if you are having nausea or vomiting.
Please do not take NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Motrin, as these may slow healing of bone and tendon.
You should have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon in about 2 weeks. You may also have an additional visit with the Physician’s Assistant within a few days of your surgery. Call (480) 964-2908 right away if you do not have an appointment already scheduled. We will check your incisions and remove any sutures at the 2-week visit. We will also answer any specific questions you may have about your surgery. We will consider getting you into Physical Therapy if this has not been arranged, as many patients benefit from PT after elbow surgery.
Call our office at (480) 964-2908 with any urgent or emergent questions or concerns that you may have, or if you develop swelling in your leg with calf pain, swelling that will not go away when you elevate your leg, a temperature above 101.4, or drainage from your incisions.
If you experience high fever (above 102.5), chest pain, difficulty breathing, fainting: go to an Emergency Department close to your house.