all correspondence to Victorian

Bone & Joint 03 5752 5020 mobile

Post-Operative Instructions

Dr Slattery will tailor post operative instructions based upon the procedure that you have undergone.  These instructions are general guidance only.


What is to be expected:

After surgery, there is a variable amount of pain and swelling, often depending on how much surgery was done. This usually diminishes after several days. It is helpful to keep the leg or arm elevated above your heart and to apply ice regularly.


What should be reported immediately:

Signs and symptoms to report:

  • persistent fever
  • sudden increase in pain or swelling
  • wound redness, drainage, or increased skin temperature around the incision
  • increasing numbness
  • deep calf pain and/or swelling
  • shortness of breath

General post-operative instructions:

1. Wound Care

  • You may de-bulk the dressings (if there is a bandage) by taking off the bandages and leaving the waterproof dressings underneath intact at 2 days.
  • Keep dressings intact for two weeks till review unless there is strikethrough of considerable amount of blood or ooze.
  • Please use steri strips when dressings are removed (white tapes across wound).
  • It is OK if they fall off.
  • You may shower in 3 days with the incision covered. Keep it clean and dry.
  • Do not get into a bath or pool until two weeks.

2. Icing

  • It is recommended that you ice your surgery site. Ice in a bag with cloth covering can be used fairly consistently for the first 24 to 48 hours to help diminish the swelling.

3. Crutches and mobility

  • You may require crutches or upper limb immobilization such as a sling
  • Non weight bearing is no weight at all through you affected leg
  • Touch weight bearing, is toe touching the ground only (imagine you are walking on an egg shell)
  • Partial weight bearing is usually 1/6 of your body weight
  • Full weight bearing is usually with or without crutches.

4. Physiotherapy

  • This is highly variable and depends upon the surgery undertaken and the rehabilitation protocol Mr Slattery would like you to follow
  • You may wish to set up an appointment with physiotherapy in advance (2-3 sessions/wk) – please discuss this with Mr Slattery Pre-operatively
  • For the first two weeks until formal physical therapy, you may do the exercises advised by Dr Slattery and your physiotherapist:
    • No weight lifting or water therapy during first two weeks.
    • If an exercise is very painful, stop doing it or do it within the limits of motion that is not painful.

5. Pain Control

  • You will be prescribed a specific pain control regime by Dr Slattery and your Anaesthetist depending upon the operation performed.
  • Use the medicine as prescribed and do not drive, drink alcohol, or perform duties that require concentration (i.e. school or work) while on the narcotic medication.

6. Driving

  • You may not drive at least until your post-op visit, or as direct by Dr Slattery.

8. When can I return to work?

  • This depends upon the type of work that you do and the surgery that you are having.
  • Most surgeries will require at least 2 weeks leave from work or school.

Please discuss this in further depth with Dr Slattery during your consultation

Who to call:

If you have any problems please call Dr Slattery’s Rooms on 03 9819 6934, or after hours for acute problems on 0475 582 244.  You should have a post-op appointment scheduled in 14 days. If you do not, call 03 9819 6934.

Surgery specific Post-Operative Instructions:

To book an appointment please contact Dr Slattery’s rooms on
03 5752 5020 mobile
We aim to see all fractures within 24hrs