Relief of pain

The local anaesthetic that you have had will wear off in the next 1 to 2 hours.

Provided you do not have an allergy to the painkiller, it is safe to use over-the-counter painkillers to reduce your pain so you can be more active.

It is important to use painkillers carefully, as they have side effects. Paracetamol is the simplest and safest painkiller. However, always get advice before taking paracetamol if you have liver or kidney problems

You could also try anti-inflammatory tablets like Ibuprofen as long as you don’t have a condition (such as a stomach ulcer) that prevents you using them.

Always take your painkillers at regular intervals at the recommended dose / exactly as prescribed. This is to make sure they work as well as possible for you. The aim is for pain control to be constant.

Putting off taking painkillers can make the pain more severe. It may then take longer to get it under control when you do take them.

If over-the-counter painkillers do not work, ask for help from your GP or pharmacist.

Changing position and using a pillow to support the wound can help reduce discomfort.

Please do not use a hot water bottle as this can lead to scalding of the skin. 

Check with your GP if you have been prescribed other analgesia.

Apply ice packs to reduce the swelling, twice a day for twenty minutes.

Stitches

Stitches or sutures will normally be removed (after 5 to 14 days) at your own surgery by the practice nurse.

You will need to book an appointment with the practice nurse well in advance of needing stitches removed or dressings renewed.

If you are concerned about discomfort when the stitches are removed, consider taking a simple pain relief, e.g. paracetamol, an hour before your appointment. Steri-strips (sticky strips) may be applied over the wound following suture removal to help support the wound.

Remember once the stitches have been removed the wound may appear healed but it will not be strong. It can take several months for skin to regain its strength and flexibility. Treat the area with care. A greasy ointment, e.g. Vaseline, can be applied after removal of the dressing to prevent crusting.

Activity

You should try and rest as much as possible today.  Use crutches for 2-3 days until safe. No competitive sport for six weeks.

Bathing

You can remove the wool and crepe outer dressing after 48 hours and have a shower. Do not soak in a bath or go into a swimming pool for three weeks.

Complications

The signs of infection can be any of the following:

  • Severe or increasing pain at the site
  • Swelling and redness
  • Discoloured or foul smelling discharge.
  • Numbness or tingling.

If you are concerned about any of the above, see your practice nurse promptly, taking this leaflet with you.

Your practice nurse is the first point of contact. They will be able to assess your wound if you suspect it is infected.

Persistent Pain

If you experience persistent pain after 48 hours you may need advice from your GP.

Bleeding

The operation site will be checked for bleeding before you leave the department. If bleeding occurs at home, do not disturb the dressing. Press firmly on the area, for a full 15 minutes (by a clock). Do not take the dressing off, put an additional “pressure dressing” on top of the original If possible, elevate your leg. If bleeding persists you will need to visit your practice nurse or local Emergency Department for assessment.

A clean dressing will be provided once bleeding has settled if this is necessary.

Be vigilant for bleeding if you take anticoagulants, e.g. Aspirin or Warfarin.

Specific advice

You may leak clear fluids out of the puncture site for a few days. Your knee may swell after activity for three months. You may get increased pain on the first or second day post op when the swelling peaks. When resting, elevate your leg. You may experience bruising that can radiate up to mid-thigh and down to mid-calf.

Drugs given in theatre

Drug …………………………………. Next Due……………………………….
Drug …………………………………. Next Due……………………………….
Drug …………………………………. Next Due……………………………….  

Drugs given to take home

Drug ………………………………… Frequency……………………………….
Drug …………………………………. Frequency……………………………….
Drug …………………………………. Frequency……………………………….
Drug ………………………………… Frequency……………………………….    

Outpatient appointment

Booked Appointment:   Date:                                  
Time:
Department:
Your appointment will be sent in the post:
Due in    Weeks      Months
Pending Results           See own GP

Practice Nurse Appointment

Date of surgery:
Surgery:
Check wound and re-tape in …………. days
Remove stitches in ……………..days   
Remove outer dressing in………days   
Remove dressing in……….days       
Check wound in………days

Do you have Monocryl stitches (absorbable)
Yes No
(Please circle the correct answer)

  • Remove steri-strips and trim ends of suture (including knot)
  • Do not pull the suture out
  • Please observe the wound for signs of infection
  • After 14 days, 20% of original strength remains

If you have any questions or require further advice, please contact:    

8am – 7pm
Day Surgery Unit
01935 384339

If you have any serious concerns outside of these hours please contact either your own GP, 111, Accident and Emergency or the Minor Injuries Unit.

Ref: 04/21/09
Review: 06/23