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General Post-Operative Instructions


For all medical emergencies related to your surgery during or after office hours, please call our main number at (713) 486-6540.

 
 

KNEE


•  WOUND CARE & HYGIENE
 
General Knee Arthroscopy (Requiring Only Small Portal Incisions)

Knee arthroscopies generally only require very small portal incisions to be made.  Dr. Lowe usually allows you to remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after your surgery.
 
If you choose to remove your outer surgical dressing, please follow these guidelines.  Remove the outer elastic bandage along with the white gauze pads and white surgical padding.  Bleeding usually occurs following surgery so these dressings may be soiled with blood.  Only remove the elastic bandage and any white gauze pads or white surgical padding.  Do NOT remove either the steri-strips that are directly on the skin or the yellow medicated gauze immediately on top of the steri-strips if at all possible.  You are allowed to place water-proof bandages over the portal incisions to shower.  Be sure to cover the entire area with water-proof bandages including the steri-strips and yellow gauze.  Once you place water-proof bandages over your portals, leave these on until your first post-op appointment since removing these will remove the steri-strips and yellow gauze.

Ligament Reconstruction (Requiring Larger Incisions)
 
If you are having any type of ligament reconstruction or any procedure that requires a larger incision, Dr. Lowe does NOT allow you to remove your dressings after surgery.  This includes you the patient, your caregivers, or the physical therapist.  An exposed wound in physical therapy is UNACCEPTABLE.  Removing your surgical dressings will expose you to potentially serious infections.
 
Dressings will be changed on your first post-op visit and a new dressing applied.  If your dressing gets EXCESSIVELY wet prior to your first post-op visit, meaning “soaked through,” please contact the office for instructions.
 
If you feel that the dressing may be too tight, you may loosen the elastic bandage only.  Do NOT remove any of the sterile padding or gauze as this may expose you to an infection.
 

•  CPM (CONTINUOUS PASSIVE MOTION) UNIT – (IF APPLICABLE)
 CPM Unit
Your knee is a joint.  All joints are designed to move.  Your CPM unit is to be used to passively move your knee through a specified range of motion.  This passive motion stimulates the healing process of your knee as well as helps to limit excessive scar tissue adhesions that my hinder your recovery.
 
If a CPM machine is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver.
 

•  POST-OPERATIVE BRACE – (IF APPLICABLE)
 IROM Post-Op Brace
A post-operative DonJoy IROM brace may be necessary depending upon the specific procedure you will be having.  This post-op brace will typically be locked in full extension and is to be worn at all times unless you are using the CPM machine, doing your exercises or using cryotherapy.

This post-op brace is necessary in order to protect your knee while your muscles are inhibited for even the simplest of tasks such as going to the restroom.
 
If a post-operative brace is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver.


•  CRUTCHES (IF APPLICABLE) & WEIGHT-BEARING STATUS
 Crutches   Crutch Walking Stairs   Crutch Fitting Under Arm
Following most knee surgeries full-weight bearing on the involved leg is allowed unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Lowe after surgery.  Your weight-bearing status depends upon specific procedures done during surgery that may require modifications to your status that will allow for more appropriate healing after surgery.
 
Dr. Lowe will instruct your caregivers of the specific weight bearing status after surgery depending upon the specific procedure that will be performed.

Crutches are assistive devices so it is important to walk with as normal of gait pattern as possible within the limitations specified by Dr. Lowe.
 
 

SHOULDER 

 
•  SHOULDER WOUND CARE & HYGIENE
 
General Shoulder Scopes (Requiring Only Small Portal Incisions)
 
Shoulder arthroscopies generally only require very small portal incisions to be made.  Dr. Lowe usually allows you to remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after your surgery.
 
If you choose to remove your outer surgical dressing, please follow these guidelines.  Remove the outer spongy compression tape along with the white gauze pads and white surgical padding.  Bleeding usually occurs following surgery so these dressings may be soiled with blood.  Only remove the elastic bandage and any white gauze pads or white surgical padding.  Do NOT remove either the steri-strips that are directly on the skin or the yellow medicated gauze immediately on top of the steri-strips if at all possible.  You are allowed to place water-proof bandages over the portal incisions to shower.  Be sure to cover the entire area with water-proof bandages including the steri-strips and yellow gauze.  Once you place water-proof bandages over your portals, leave these on until your first post-op appointment since removing these will remove the steri-strips and yellow gauze.

Open Procedures (Requiring Larger Incisions)
 
If you are having any type of procedure that requires a larger incision, Dr. Lowe does NOT allow you to remove your dressings after surgery.  This includes you the patient, your caregivers, or the physical therapist.  An exposed wound in physical therapy is UNACCEPTABLE.  Removing your surgical dressings will expose you to potentially serious infections.

Dressings will be changed on your first post-op visit and a new dressing applied.  If your dressing gets EXCESSIVELY wet prior to your first post-op visit, meaning “soaked through,” please contact the office for instructions.
 

•  POST-OPERATIVE SLING OR IMMOBILIZER – (IF APPLICABLE)
 
A post-operative DonJoy Ultra-Sling with or without attached padded pillow may be necessary depending upon the specific procedure you will be having.  This sling allows for limited to no movement of the shoulder in order to protect from unwanted motions following surgery.

If a post-operative sling or immobilizer is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver.
 


 


ELBOW

 
• WOUND CARE & HYGIENE

General Elbow Arthroscopy (Requiring Only Small Portal Incisions)

Elbow arthroscopies generally only require very small portal incisions to be made.  Dr. Lowe usually allows you to remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after your surgery.

If you choose to remove your outer surgical dressing, please follow these guidelines.  Remove the outer elastic bandages along with the white gauze pads and white surgical padding.  Bleeding usually occurs following surgery so these dressings may be soiled with blood.  Only remove the elastic bandage and any white gauze pads or white surgical padding.  Do NOT remove either the steri-strips that are directly on the skin or the yellow medicated gauze immediately on top of the steri-strips if at all possible.  You are allowed to place water-proof bandages over the portal incisions to shower.  Be sure to cover the entire area with water-proof bandages including the steri-strips and yellow gauze.  Once you place water-proof bandages over your portals, leave these on until your first post-op appointment since removing these will remove the steri-strips and yellow gauze.

Open Procedures (Requiring Larger Incisions)

If you are having any type of procedure that requires a larger incision such as an Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (Tommy John surgery), Dr. Lowe does NOT allow you to remove your dressings after surgery.  This includes you the patient, your caregivers, or the physical therapist.  An exposed wound in physical therapy is UNACCEPTABLE.  Removing your surgical dressings will expose you to potentially serious infections.

Dressings will be changed on your first post-op visit and a new dressing applied.  If your dressing gets EXCESSIVELY wet prior to your first post-op visit, meaning “soaked through,” please contact the office for instructions.
 
 
• POST-OPERATIVE SPLINT – (IF APPLICABLE)

A post-operative splint may be necessary depending upon the specific procedure you will be having.  This splint allows for limited to no movement of the elbow in order to protect from unwanted motions following surgery.

If a post-operative splint is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver.
 
 
• POST-OPERATIVE SLING – (IF APPLICABLE)

A post-operative DonJoy Ultra-Sling with or without attached padded pillow may be necessary depending upon the specific procedure you will be having.  This sling allows for limited to no movement of the elbow in order to protect from unwanted motions following surgery.

If a post-operative sling or immobilizer is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver.