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Care of the Elbow after Surgery
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Post-Op Care
The protocols described here are general in nature. Every human being and every surgery is different so the information given here is for general guidance only. If you have questions you should contact us.

For detailed Post-Op information on each of the surgeries we perform, click on the procedure listed below. To return to the menu, click the 'Top' link immediately following each Post-Op description.

Elbow Arthroscopy
Ulnar Nerve Transposition

Elbow Arthroscopy
Elbow arthroscopy is usually done for damage to cartilage or because of loose bodies seen in the joint on x-ray.

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling is for comfort and is not really protective. You can begin moving your arm and get rid of the sling as soon as you are comfortable without it.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. You can remove the dressings at about 24 hours after your surgery. It is OK to shower and wash the incisions with soap and water. There is no need to cover the incisions. Do not soak the elbow as in a bathtub. After you dry your elbow you can cover the incisions with Band-Aids. You will need regular sized Band-Aids for the small incisions. If you feel that the pain medication you were given after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

You can begin moving your arm by letting your arm hang in front of you. Relax your muscles as much as you can and swing your arm in circles by moving your trunk. You can also stretch by placing your arm on a table in front of you and gently straightening the arm.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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Ulnar Nerve Transposition

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling and you will have a splint on your arm to prevent it from straightening. Leave the splint and dressings undisturbed. If you have increasing pain, numbness or swelling you should call the office at any time of the day or night for advice.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. It is OK to shower but you must not get the dressing wet. You may want to cover the arm with a plastic bag secured with tape or rubber bands to shower. If you find that the medication given to you after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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