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Orthopedic patients: Pain management at home

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Topic: Medications

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about caring for your child at home following orthopedic (bone/muscle) surgery or an injury.
Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over anything you do not understand.

Once your child is home, continue to keep the affected arm, elbow or leg elevated above the level of the heart for two to three days to reduce swelling and pain. For arm
injuries, keep the hand higher than the elbow and the elbow higher than the heart. Keep ice packs (covered with a thin cloth layer) on the affected arm or leg for two to
three days. Ice should be used as follows: Ice on for 30 minutes and off for 30 minutes.

Beginning two to three days after your child’s surgery or injury, your child may need a prescription pain medication. This may be needed often during the first few days after the surgery or injury. These medications are to be given “as needed” rather than at certain times if possible. Four days or so after your child’s surgery or injury, your child should be using less prescription pain medication and be using over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol® (acetaminophen) or Motrin® (ibuprofen) in-between.
Many prescribed pain medications cause constipation, especially those containing codeine or vicodin. Treat your child’s constipation by giving him or her 100% grape
juice or prune juice daily and offering a high-fiber diet including fruits and vegetables. If this does not work, check with your local pharmacist for advice on using a stool
Note: Your Orthopedic Surgeon will prescribe enough medication for your child’s pain as he or she recovers or during the first 48-72 hours. If your child still has pain after 72 hours when using over-the-counter medication, call the Orthopaedic Center weekdays before 4:00 pm at 937-641-3010. The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information on your child and pain management, please ask your doctor.


Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.


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