During your recovery from surgery, general activity should be maintained and sedentary activities should be avoided. This should include:

  • Frequent ambulation each day to maintain strength and endurance in you legs and trunk
  • A healthy and nutritious diet including low fat and high protein intake to encourage healing of the tissues
  • Avoid trying to use the narcotic medications for sleep as narcotic induced sleep is not restorative and pre-disposes to dependence
  • You can and should regularly move and use your wrist and hand as tolerated
  • Avoid ANY tobacco or nicotine use – This significantly reduces the likelihood of a good outcome and predisposes you to INFECTION by decreasing blood flow to the healing areas Dr. Lenarz will want to see you back 5-7 days after your surgery
  • Apply ice bags to control swelling. Ice should be for 20 -30 minutes at a time with breaks of 60-90 minutes. Avoid direct application to the skin if using ice in a plastic bag
  • Your nerve block will wear off after several hours.
  • Swelling and discomfort is normal and may last days to weeks.
  • Keep the arm elevated. This helps to prevent swelling and decreases pain.
  • You may remove the dressing the day after surgery, however, keep the white strips on the skin. Do NOT apply any creams, ointments, balms or other material to the incision or around it. No swimming or baths. To wash under the operative arm bend over at the waist and let the arm passively come away from the body. This is similar to the position for the pendulum exercises.
  • You may shower the day after your surgery. Do not scrub the incisions but you may allow water to run over them. Keep the incisions covered otherwise.
  • When Physical Therapy begins, you will usually attend 2-3 times per week for 6-12 weeks depending on your progression.
  • A prescription will be given to you for a powerful narcotic medication (Norco, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Oxycodone). This medication is meant to be taken AS NEEDED for pain only. These medication can be addictive if taken over long periods of time and should be used thoughtfully to control your pain given their known risk of dependence and addiction. If you can not tolerate this medicine, contact the office and we will change it. Do NOT take this medication in combination with Tylenol (acetaminophen).

Additional instructions are included in this website for your specific surgery. Please review these guidelines for the surgery which you have had performed. These are broken down into phases of recovery. These phase timelines need to be followed precisely and should not be accelerated.