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  • Take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed for
    • Oxycodone
    • Hydrocodone / Tylenol
    • Dilaudid
  • Take Tylenol 650 mg every 6 hours or 1,000 mg every 8 hours as needed for pain (okay to take with oxycodone).
  • Use your medicine liberally over the first 48 hours, and then you can begin to taper your use. You may take Extra Strength Tylenol (max of 3,000 mg a day) or Tylenol only in place of the pain pills. Do not take additional Tylenol if you are taking Percocet, Norco, or Vicodin (these medications already have Tylenol in it).
  • Take an over the counter stool softener such as Colace. This medication is routinely used as pain medicines can be very constipating. Please take as directed unless you experience loose stools or diarrhea.
  • Take one aspirin (81 mg), once a day for 2 weeks after surgery, unless you have an aspirin sensitivity/allergy or asthma. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Naprosyn, Etodolac, etc) may be used instead of aspirin if you have no contraindication (kidney failure, gastric ulcers, etc).
  • If you take a blood thinner such as Coumadin or Warfarin, take this medication as directed by your medical clearance physician. DO NOT TAKE COUMADIN AND ASPIRIN.
  • Resume your normal medications as recommended by your primary care physician


  • Resume a regular diet as soon as possible. It is advisable to start with clear liquids until nausea is gone.

Sling / Brace

  • Maintain the operative arm in the dressing that was placed at the time of surgery.
  • Use the sling as needed for support of the arm.


  • Increase your general activity level as the effects of the anesthetic medications have worn off and your strength improves.
  • Elevation is critically important following elbow surgery. For the first 48 hours you should keep your elbow elevated the majority of the time. This requires you to lay flat or slightly inclined with your hand at a height above your elbow andyour elbow above your heart. Generally this requires pillows under the elbow and pillows under the hand on the belly or chest.
  • Perform range of motion and gentle gripping activities with your hand to stimulate circulation.
  • You may begin gentle range of motion exercises to the elbow and forearm as instructed by your doctor beginning on the second day after surgery.
  • No lifting at all with your operative arm
  • No lifting more than 2 pounds with your operative arm

Dressing Care

  • Keep the post-operative dressingin place until your follow up appointment.
  • You may remove your dressing on post-operative day 5 following surgery if allowed by your physician.
  • Some slight drainage through the dressing is common and is most often noted on the 2nd or 3rd post-operative day. Do not be alarmed.
  • Your elbow is splinted straight. On the first postoperative day, remove the outer ACE wrap and remove the hard splint on the front of your elbow. There will be another ACE wrap underneath the splint. Leave this ACE wrap in place and keep clean/dry until follow-up. You may begin to range the elbow once the splint is removed.

Follow Up

  • Generally, a follow up appointment has been made for you at the time of surgery. You can call the office to confirm your appointment.
  • Bring the copy of your arthroscopic pictures to your follow up appointment.
  • Notify our office if you have any of the following:
    • Fever over 101.5 degrees.
    • Excessive blood on your dressing.
    • Numbness or tingling in your arm or hand that was not present before surgery and has lasted more than 24 hours.
    • Drainage from any incision that last longer than 4 days following surgery.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • New England Shoulder and Elbow Society
  • Boston Sports & Shoulder Center
  • Tufts University