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Day surgery: Orthopaedic surgery - discharge care

  • For children going home after having an orthopaedic procedure at the RCH.

    Eating and drinking

    • After the anaesthetic, your child can start eating a light diet such as sandwiches, pasta, soup or jelly. Avoid fatty or junk food.
    • Babies can breastfeed or have formula feeds as usual. 

    Nausea and vomiting

    • Do not worry if your child feels sick or vomits once or twice after leaving hospital.
    • If they vomit or feel sick, stop giving food for about one hour. Then try a light diet such as soup, dry biscuits, jelly, icy poles or toast if your child can manage it without feeling ill.
    • If your child keeps vomiting, please call your child's surgeon or your nearest hospital emergency department.

    Wound care

    • If your child has a dressing, leave it in place until your child's follow-up appointment, unless your surgeon gives you different instructions.  
    • If you are not sure about getting the wound wet or caring for the wound area, ask your child's surgeon. 


    • Because your child has had an anaesthetic, they will need to rest for the next 24 hours with an adult caring for them.

    Pain relief

    • Paracetamol can be given at home every four to six hours for up to two days if needed. Read the packaging for the correct dose for your child according to their age. Ask for help if you need it. Do not give any medicine with paracetamol in it more than four times in 24 hours.
    • For more severe pain call your child's surgeon or see your family doctor.


      • Please arrange a follow-up appointment as discussed with your child's surgeon, otherwise an outpatient appointment notice will be posted to you the week after the operation.
      • Contact your child's orthopaedic surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about your child's care at home.


      • The Royal Children's Hospital
        T: (03) 9345 5522 (24hrs)
        Ask for the Orthopaedic Registrar

      • Surgery Centre 
        Monday to Friday 7AM - 7PM
        T: (03) 9345 6570

      Factsheet developed by the RCH Surgery Centre.  First uploaded Dec 2005. Updated January 2012.


    This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.