Post-operative Instructions

After the operation, you will receive specific instructions regarding the care of the surgical site and activities you can perform. You must follow these instructions carefully to make a quick recovery.

Genaral Instructions After Surgery

Most orthopedic surgical procedures are uneventful. However, medical complications can occur, and we want all surgical patients to have an awareness of the things to look for and actions to take in the event of a postoperative complication. This can help to prevent an adverse outcome.


  1. FEVER – Low grade fever is common after bone and joint surgery, particularly in the first two days. A little fever during this time is not of concern. If your temperature rises above 101.5o F please call the doctor on call for advice.
  2. INFECTION- Please have a member of Dr. Black’s orthopedic surgery team evaluate you if there is concern for infection after surgery (Not your PCP or local emergency room physician unless it is an emergency).
    • Fever, chills, redness, increased drainage, elevated blood sugars, or increasing pain may be signs of an
    • infection.
    • If you have any of these symptoms or questions, call 469-800-7200 during office hours.
  3. BLEEDING – It is common to get a minor amount of bleeding that can soak through the bandages or surgical dressing. This is not of concern. Please call regarding excessive bleeding. Notify your surgeon if the wound drains any fluid later than five days after surgery.
  4. CARDIOVASCULAR – If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting spells, then you need to go to the emergency room for evaluation. If your symptoms are severe then call 911 rather than going in a private vehicle. Someone should notify the Orthopaedic Associates of Dallas doctor on-call and your family doctor as well.
  5. BLOOD CLOTS – Orthopedic surgery patients are at risk for blood clots, especially after lower extremity surgery. Please be sure to notify your surgeon if you or someone in your family has a history of such clots or any type of clotting disorder.

    Obesity or use of oral contraceptives can increase the risk of blood clots. Women should consider not taking oral contraceptives while unable to walk normally without crutches, brace or cast on the leg.

    Traveling after surgery - Realize that long air flights or car trips may also increase the chance of blood clots. You can lessen the risk of DVT by taking short breaks to either walk around or pump your foot against resistance (like stepping on the gas).

    Signs of blood clots may include calf pain or cramping, diffuse swelling in the leg and foot, as well as chest pain, coughing, or shortness of breath. Please call if you recognize any of these symptoms.

  6. CONSTIPATION – It is common to become constipated from taking narcotic based pain medications so you may need a stool softener / laxative. It is recommended that you take Ducolax 100mg twice per day as needed, and this is available over the counter at any pharmacy. Increase your fiber and water intake after surgery to help avoid this.

The main number of Orthopaedic Associates of Dallas is 469-800-7200 is answered 24/7, but should not be used for emergency situations. It is best to use 911 first in a true emergency, then call and notify us of the situation.

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