Elbow Surgery Considerations
Elbow Treatments & Surgeries - Adelaide Orthopaedic Specialist
- Remove the bandage and wool on the third day after surgery. If the underlying surgical dressing is clean and dry, leave it alone. If minimal drainage is present, apply a clean waterproof dressing over the incision (Tegaderm dressing).
- To avoid infection, keep surgical incisions clean and dry - you may shower starting the day after surgery if you seal the surgical site with plastic around the bandage. After the third day you just need the waterproof dressing alone. Do not immerse the operative arm (i.e. in a bath) until the wound is dry and the suture trimmed (2 weeks).
- Ice packs help reduce pain and swelling. It should be applied every 2 hours for 20 minutes daily.
- Do not let ice come into direct contact with your skin. It should always be wrapped in a plastic bag over-wrapped with a towel.
- Elevate the operative arm to chest level whenever possible to decrease swelling
- When sleeping or resting, inclined positions (i.e. reclining chair) and a pillow under the forearm for support may provide better comfort
- Do not engage in activities which increase pain/swelling (lifting or any repetitive wrist/elbow/shoulder movements) over the first 7-10 days following surgery
- Driving and return to light work 1 week after surgery, if pain is tolerable
- A local anaesthetic is injected into the wound and elbow joint during surgery - this will wear off within 12 hours
- Paracetamol and Anti-inflammatories (eg. Ibuprofen or Diclofenacl) should be taken regularly for the first few weeks after surgery (as long as required).
- Your sling should be worn for comfort for a few days after surgery
You may remove this as comfortable.
- You will be seen by a physiotherapist at the hospital after your surgery
- Gentle shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand range of motion exercises can be performed starting on the first post-operative day
- Formal physiotherapy with your own therapist should commence about a week after surgery and consists of local care and a specific exercise program
- You will be sent an appointment to see us approximately 3 weeks after surgery. If you have any queries or concerns please contact us.
How Dr James McLean can help
Dr James McLean provides consultation and various treatments for a wide variety of elbow conditions in Adelaide.
With his extensive experience in treating upper limb conditions, he works with his patients to create tailored treatment plans which yield the best possible outcomes for their injuries.
Click here for more information on other conditions involving the shoulder, hand, wrist, and elbow which Dr James McLean has a special interest in treating.