After Surgery Instructions At Orthopaedic Surgery Centre of Panther Creek

The steps after outpatient orthopedic surgery in Cary are similar to those at most surgical centers. Expect the following: 

  • Close observation in recovery upon waking
  • Monitoring of vital signs 
  • Administering of pain medications and anti-nausea medications
  • After one hour, friends or family are usually permitted.

You will be given instructions on how to safely take your medications, perform dressing changes, perform recovery exercises, and information on follow-up appointments. Nursing staff will review this information both with you and a loved one, so there is an understanding of care after orthopedic surgery. 

If you have any questions, please take the time to ask our staff here at the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek..

After Surgery - When You Get Home

The first few days after surgery are the most important in your recovery. With every day, you will see improved mobility and an improvement in activities of daily living. To have the best outcome, you will need to participate in recommendations for post-operative care provided by staff at The The Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. 

The following is a list of suggestions for a successful at-home recovery program:  


Do Not Drive Too Soon

Some people think that once anesthesia or pain medication has worn off, it is okay to drive. However, it is only part of the concern as sudden movements and risk of injury if there is an accident can put you at repeated risk for orthopedic injury. Do not drive until your doctor gives you the okay.

Do Not Lift Anything Heavy

Lifting includes heavyweights, including those that you may lift while working out. There is a risk of orthopedic injury and a chance of putting a strain on the orthopedic wounds. Always check with your doctor before resuming the activity, but you likely need to wait at least 1-3 days. 

Do Not Smoke

Smoking affects your health adversely in several ways; however, it may delay wound healing. Smoking may also put you at risk for infection or complications such as pneumonia. 

Do Not Skip Appointments

Sometimes we want to stay at home because we don’t feel well or feel well so don’t think we need to see our doctor. However, it is always essential to keep every follow-up appointment with your doctor at our The Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. Evaluation is vital, and sometimes your doctor can identify a condition for which you are unaware. 

Do Not Do Sports Right Away

Following surgery, you should wait at least one to three days before you begin doing any sports. Ask your surgeon for instructions regarding your specific condition and type of surgery.


Follow Your Doctor’s directions

It is always best to follow the instructions provided by your physician for aftercare. It can be easy to forget follow-up appointments, miss doses of medications, or try to resume activities of daily living because you feel ready. Always consult with your physician if you have questions, concerns, or changes in status after surgery.

Take all Medications as Prescribed by staff 

Pain medications need to be taken as directed. The nerve blocks used for surgery will wear off after about 6-18 hours. To further help reduce pain, do not drive, operate machinery, sign a legal document while on the medication, or force a motion or sudden movement. Ice and elevation can also be helpful to manage pain and reduce swelling. 

You might also be prescribed antibiotics by staff at your The Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. With any surgery, there is a risk for infection, and antibiotics can help reduce the risk. If you stop the antibiotics early, you may increase the likelihood of developing antibiotic resistance, which means next time, they will be less effective, if effective at all. 

Nausea medication may be prescribed as needed. Take as directed and report to staff immediately if it is not effective as there may be other options available. 

Watch for Signs of Infection

Signs of wound infection may include pus or drainage from the wound, excessive or abnormal bleeding, pain from the sight, increased swelling or redness from the incision, or an unusual odor. If any of these signs are noted, report to your doctor immediately. 

Attend Physical Therapy Sessions

Part of successful rehabilitation includes physical therapy sessions and regularly complete exercises at home. If you have questions about formation and posture make sure to ask your therapist at your next session.

Ask for Help

You will need someone to drive you home on the day of surgery. This person will need to listen to discharge instructions to review them with you once you are feeling well after recovery. This individual is recommended to stay with you 24 hours after your procedure, making arrangements ahead of time. 

Make Sure You Eat and Drink Well

Whether it is anxiety or medications, it is common not to eat or drink well in the days before and after surgery. If you can try to prepare before, you will be better off, and more hydrated come time for surgery. It may minimize surgical complications. 

Get Moving - Move or Walk Every Hour

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, we recommend a short walk every hour in the days following surgery. Walking helps to prevent complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pneumonia, and constipation. Walking is healing and will allow the muscle to rebuild after surgery. 

Be Careful with Cosmetics

Some personal care products such as lotions or creams can put you at risk for infection if put around the surgical site. It is best to avoid placing around the area until your outpatient orthopedic surgery center in Cary is given the okay. 

Be Prepared for Recovery at Home With a Few Items: 

We recommend the following to help your recover comfortably at home after surgery:

  • hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap
  • easy-to-make meals
  • comfortable clothes
  • filled prescriptions
  • over-the-counter remedies
  • emergency contact information
  • movies, music, or books
  • incision care supplies
  • water


  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Black stools
  • Pain that suddenly increases or becomes overwhelming
  • Wound drainage issues; redness, bleeding, or opening at the incision area
  • An unexpected decrease in an inability to function
  • A change in the level of awareness or ability to wake
  • Persistent diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting
  • Incapability to tolerate food or drink
  • Inexplicable leg pain

Contact Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek

If you have questions after your operation, please contact your physician. If you are unable to reach your physician, please call our post-op hotline at 919-719-3079. If you need immediate assistance, please call 911.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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