Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery

Hand or Limb Surgery

  • DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS

    Pain control

    Give medications as required for pain (paracetamol and ibuprofen are available from pharmacies without prescription). A nerve block with local anaesthetic is often administered at the time of surgery; this wears off over 24 hours and pain may increase at this time. Any areas that are made numb by the local anaesthetic should regain sensation at this time.

    Dressings

    Keep plaster clean, dry and intact. Some swelling is normal post operatively.  Ensure the limb is elevated in a sling or on pillows until pain and swelling are gone.  This minimises swelling of the operative area and assists in the healing.  Keep the area elevated on pillows at night.

    Activities

    Do not play sport until advised by your doctor; this is likely to be at least six weeks after the surgery. Move the joints not immobilised in the cast as much as possible. When the plaster is taken off your doctor may organise for the occupational therapist to make a splint or to give specific exercises to perform.

    What to expect

    Observe your child's fingers/toes for colour, ensuring they are pink and warm to touch.  Your child may experience tingling or numbness which is perfectly normal in the healing process.

    Seek medical attention if your child has:

    • Increasing pain or pain is not relieved by medication
    • Persistent fever
    • General unwellness
    • Colour changes (white, blue, purple) or swelling to the fingers/toes
    • Persistent pins and needles or numbness
    • Wound discharge or increasing redness
    • Cracking or loosening of the plaster cast

    Follow up

    Your follow up appointment will be at one of the following:

    • Plastic Surgery Outpatient Registrar Clinic, Blue Desk, Ground Floor, Royal Children's Hospital (morning appointment)
    • Consultant Clinic 
    • Consultant Private Rooms 
    • Local doctor

    If you are unable to keep your appointment please call to reschedule.

    If you have any concerns contact:

    Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery Office - 9345 5391
    Outpatient appointments - 9345 6180
    Plastic Surgery Resident or Registrar - via switchboard on 9345 5522