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After
Your Surgery

After your surgery or procedure at The Orthopaedic and Spine Center of Southern Colorado, you will receive care in the post-anesthesia care unit. Nurses will closely monitor your recovery and let a family member know when they can join you in the post-anesthesia care unit.

In most cases, depending on your procedure, you will be ready to leave the center in 30 minutes to 2 hours following completion of your surgery.

Before you are discharged, your nurse will review your home care instructions with you and your family. A copy of these instructions will be sent home with you. The day after your surgery, a member of the surgery center staff will call to see how you are feeling.

Some general instructions for post-surgery patients:

  • You are required to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Take it easy until your physician says you can return to your normal routine.
  • It is natural to experience some discomfort in the area of the operation. You may also experience some drowsiness or dizziness depending on the type of anesthesia you receive or the amount of pain medication you are taking at home.
  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or power tools, cook, drink alcoholic beverages, smoke, make legal decisions, or take any medications not prescribed by your physician for at least 24 hours after your surgery.
  • The day after surgery, a member of the surgery center staff will call you to see how you are feeling.
  • Contact your physician if you feel you are having problems after surgery.
  • If you cannot contact your doctor but feel your concerns warrant a doctor’s attention, call or go to the emergency room closest to you.

Download: Instructions for After Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be able to see my family after my surgery?

There is a period of time that you will be in the recovery room. One friend or family member may join you in the post-operative recovery room when you are ready for discharge.

How will I feel after my procedure?

You may feel groggy and tired. You may feel cold or have some chills. Warm blankets are available. Noises may seem louder than usual. Your vision may be blurred and you may have a dry mouth. You may feel some discomfort. Your recovery room nurse can give you pain and anti-nausea medications that your anesthesiologist or surgeon have ordered for you.

What can I do to minimize pain after surgery?

If you are having a surgical procedure, it is normal to experience pain afterwards. If you have been given a prescription for pain medications, please fill them as soon as possible.

Stay on top of your pain by taking the pain medication when you first become aware of pain sensations. Remember to always eat before taking pain medications to avoid nausea.

To minimize pain after an orthopedic procedure, icing and elevating the affected extremity will help minimize swelling, which will help reduce pain. Detailed discharge instructions will be provided based on your specific surgery.

When will I be allowed to go home?

Everyone reacts differently to surgery and anesthesia, so recovery time depends upon the individual. When you are awake, doing well, and feel ready to go home, your nurse will review your post-operative instructions with your responsible party, then allow you to go home.

If you receive anesthesia or sedation, you will need to have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours to help you with your care. Your safety is our primary concern.

Do I need someone to drive me home and stay with me after my procedure?

Yes, you will need to have a responsible adult take you home after any procedure requiring sedation or anesthesia. This is for your safety. You will need someone available to assist you at home. Patients cannot drive for 24 hours after being sedated or receiving anesthesia.

When can I resume my usual activities? Go back to work? Drive a car?

With regard to driving a car, going back to work or resuming exercises, ask your surgeon, who will explain any limitation(s) you may have.

What danger signs should I watch for when I go home?

Notify your physician immediately if you experience any excessive bleeding, signs of infection (redness, swelling, heat, increased pain, red streaks, drainage from the wound, fever of 100.6 degrees or higher), difficulty breathing, excessive pain, excessive nausea and vomiting, inability to urinate, shortness of breath, or if you have any new pain in either calf area. For any other  concerns or problems, contact your physician per your discharge instructions.

In case of an emergency, call 911.

Who do I contact for questions regarding medical records?

Please contact the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of Southern Colorado business office at (719) 282-8888. A release authorization will be required.

Who do I contact for questions regarding lab or pathology results?

 Please contact your physician’s office as they receive these results and can pass them on to you.

Who do I contact if I have a grievance?

Please call Orthopaedic & Spine Center of Southern Colorado at (719) 282-8888 and ask to speak to the management representative to file a formal grievance

Orthopedic & Spine