Pre and Post-Op Surgical Information

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center’s Boston orthopedic surgeons work with a team of dedicated clinical staff and assistants to ensure safe, high quality, expert care throughout the surgery process. Information regarding your pre-operative instructions and care can be found below.


what do i need to do prior to my surgery?
• Schedule a post-operative appointment approximately 10 to14 days after the surgery date for a follow-up and suture removal.
• If you have been given a brace, sling, or other Durable Medical Equipment from our office prior to your surgery date please bring it with you on your day of surgery.
• Plan for a family member or friend to drive you to and from the surgery center on your date of surgery.
• Set up physical therapy for after the surgery. Initial physical therapy evaluations should be scheduled for approximately five days after the surgery.
what medications should i stop prior to surgery?
• Seven days prior to surgery you should stop taking medications such as Motrin, Aleve, and Advil.
• Please consult with your primary care physician regarding prescribed medications.
what do i need to do on the day of surgery?
• DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery. • Plan for someone to drive you to and from the medical center.
• Bring your photo ID, Insurance card, bracing, and MRI (if applicable) with you to the surgery.
• Clean the surgery site thoroughly with soap or Hibiclens solution the night before the surgery.


what should i expect and plan for the evening after surgery?
• Plan on having a friend or family member drive you home from the medical center. Make sure you have the afternoon and evening free of social and work obligations.
• Pain medication injected into the site of surgery will wear off roughly 12 hours following the surgery. Plan on getting your pain prescription filled to have with you when you arrive home.
• Most patients will require pain medication beginning the evening after the surgery.
• Ice the site of surgery to help decrease swelling and discomfort.
post-op pain medications information
• Patients with lower extremity surgery should take one aspirin per day for 14 days following the surgery to help reduce the risk of blood clots unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon.
• Patients may take one to two tablets of their pain medication every four to six hours as needed for pain with a maximum of 12 pills per day.
• Begin to wean yourself off of the pain medication as soon as possible.
• Do NOT drive or operate any machinery while taking pain medications.
• When taking Vicodin or Percocet, do not take any additional Tylenol or other Acetaminophen-containing products.
• Patients may experience side effects from their pain medication, including nausea, drowsiness and constipation. Patients may be prescribed Colace to help with constipation and Vistaril to help with nausea.
wound care/swelling
• Maintain your post-operative bandages for 24 hours following the surgery in order to protect the incision site.
• Some bleeding and swelling during this time is often normal. Apply additional dressings to the incision site if needed after 24 hours. If bandages become too tight due to swelling, simply loosen the bandage to decrease discomfort.
• Begin icing immediately after surgery every two hours to help decrease swelling and inflammation.
• Patients with lower extremity surgery patients should wear TEDS stockings (compression stockings) on both legs until their first post-operative visit.
• Steri-Strips should be kept on the incision site until your first post-op appointment.
• In order to decrease the risk of infection, keep the incision site clean and dry. Patients may shower after 48 hours, let the water flow over the incision, and apply a clean and dry bandage afterwards. Patients may remove their brace in the shower.
• Incision sites should not be immersed in water (e.g. pool, lake, or bath) until after your first post-op visit.
post-op activity
• Follow the instructions pertaining to your specific surgical procedure your surgeon gives you post-op regarding activity.
• Patients with lower extremity surgery should elevate the leg to chest height to help reduce swelling.
• Refer to your surgery protocol to determine your weight-bearing status.
• Do not participate in any activities or movements that increase pain or discomfort until you review them with your doctor at your first post-op visit.

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