When I was discharged from hospital following surgery I did not have any pain, but it is now two weeks following and I have pain and cramping in my legs. Is this normal?

It is normal that surgical pain is worse in the second week following surgery. During surgery patients can undergo varying degrees of nerve manipulation to free trapped nerves. By the two week mark the pain blockers used during the operation begin to wear off and the nerves begin to “waken”. It is possible to experience similar pain to that of pre operation. Consult your General Practitioner regarding pain medication for your individual circumstance. 

Other than pain killers, is there anything I can do to ease my post operative pain?Other than pain killers, is there anything I can do to ease my post operative pain?

You can apply cold or hot packs after exercising or if the area is painful or appears to be swollen. 

How long do I leave the dressing on my wound?

You will need to visit your General Practitioner two weeks following surgery to remove the dressing and to check that the wound is clean and has healed. 

When do I get my stitches out?

The sutures are under the skin and do not need to be removed.

Will I need an ambulance to transport me home after my surgery? I have a long car journey to get home is this ok? Can I fly home after surgery?

You will be able to travel as a passenger in a car following surgery, however journeys of longer than an hour will need to be broken so that you are able to get out of the car and walk around. You will also be able to fly home following surgery but you will require a “Travel Clearance Form” to be provided by ward staff prior to hospital discharge, please notify ward staff as soon as possible to arrange this.  

How long before I can return to driving a car?

We recommend that you do not drive for four weeks following surgery. 

What sort of post-surgery support do you expect I will need at home and for how long? Will I need any support in terms of self-care or personal hygiene?

On discharge from hospital you should be able to take care of yourself when it comes to showering and minor light house activities that don’t involve exertion. You will need some additional help with any heavy lifting duties such as grocery shopping and bending activities such as vacuuming.  

What post-surgery rehabilitation/exercise do you recommend? Eg, physio, pilates, walking or other exercise

You will see a physiotherapist on the ward prior to discharge. The physiotherapist will give you a number of specific exercises for you to do during your rehabilitation period to assist your recovery. Activity should recommence gradually. In the first two weeks, activity should be confined largely to the home and involve only personal hygiene and minor tasks involving no exertion. From two weeks (the time of wound dressing removal) to four weeks a gentle exercise program may be instituted. This will include activities such as gentle walks around the neighborhood, swimming or use of an exercise bike. 

I need to make arrangements for leave from work. How long do you anticipate that I will need off work after the operation?

A post operative appointment will be made for you at the time of booking your surgery. Following surgery we recommend a post operative period of six to eight weeks at which point you will be reviewed by Dr Williams. If you have light office employment, it is possible to return to work within a month if your personal circumstances dictate your return. However if you have manual labour employment we recommend you complete the six to eight weeks post operative period. 

My employer needs a medical certificate so that my leave can be approved can you get this to me prior to my surgery.

A medical certificate can not be issued until after the day of surgery, however staff are able to provide your employer with a letter stating your scheduled surgery date and the post operative care period involved. 

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