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  1. Remove your dressing 2 days after surgery. Please leave the Steri-Strips (small white band-aids) on. Please do not put ointment or lotion on your incisions unless directed. If the Steri-strips fall off, place band-aids over incision sites. For larger incisions please cover with 4x4 gauze and tape/tegaderm or waterproof bandages.
  2. Use your ice machine/ice pack as often as possible to decrease pain and swelling. Do not place these directly onto the skin, it should be wrapped with a towel or ACE bandage. Use for 20 minutes at a time several times per day. It is common after arthroscopic procedures to have swelling and bruising due to the fluid required for the procedure. This usually resolves over a few days. Ice is very important postoperatively to decrease pain. The office can provide you with an ice machine or specialized ice pack if you desire.
  3. It is ok to shower beginning 2 days after surgery. Cover the incisions with waterproof bandage. Do not submerge your incision in a bath/pool/hot tub until your incisions are completely healed (minimum 3 weeks).
  4. Start range of motion exercises as instructed immediately, please discuss with your physical therapist.
  5. If you develop a fever (>101) or redness/swelling/drainage from your incision, worsening pain in your leg/arm or numbness/weakness in the arm please notify the office immediately.
  6. A blood clot (DVT) is a risk of surgery. If you have painful swelling, redness in the extremity associated with this please call the office or go to the emergency department immediately. Please see below for recommended DVT prevention medication after your surgery.
  7. A nerve block may have been performed prior to your procedure. Typically, numbness from this procedure lasts 1-3 days. Please notify the office if you have persistent numbness.
  8. Dr. Watson utilizes non-narcotic pain management after surgery with a combination of Tylenol, ibuprofen and gabapentin in addition to ice and other devices such as a TENS unit. If the pain is severe and not controlled with these medications and frequent icing, please contact the office.
  9. Hip arthroscopy patients- Indomethacin is an NSAID and should be taken to prevent extra bone formation around the hip. Please take all of the medication as directed.
  10. Rotator cuff repair patients- you will be prescribed Doxycycline. This medication aids in rotator cuff healing, and also functions as an antibiotic. Please take all of the medication as directed.
  11. Your first follow-up visit should be 10-14 days after surgery, please call the office to schedule if you have not done so already.
  12. Driving- unless otherwise noted, no driving will be allowed if you are taking medication that causes drowsiness or you have a brace/sling that renders you unable to drive.
  13. Physical Therapy protocol (
  14. Weight bearing status.
  15. DVT prophylaxis: Aspirin 81mg twice daily for lower extremity procedures unless otherwise noted.
  16. Additional medications prescribed.
  17. Physical therapy start date postoperatively: Hip and knee procedures- 2 days after surgery, rotator cuff- 6 weeks after surgery, otherwise discuss with Dr. Watson.
  18. Brace/sling/splint/crutches usage.


10811 W. 143rd St, Suite 150, Orland Park, IL 60467