Pain After Surgery
Surgery Causes Pain
You will not appreciate pain during the operation because of the anesthetic agents that are used. During most operations done on the foot and ankle I will infiltrate a local anesthetic into the tissue at the surgical site. That will make the area numb for about 5 hours after surgery.
Narcotic Pain Medications
After Inpatient Surgery you will be treated with narcotic medications given orally or through your IV (Intravenous Line).
After Outpatient Surgery you will be given a prescription for narcotic pain medicine to take after surgery. If you begin to take the medicine before the local anesthetic wears off, they will be more effective then if you wait until it hurts to begin taking them.
If it has been more that 3 days after surgery, and you feel that the pain is worsening, you may be having a complication.
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Anti-inflammatory medications may also help to decrease postoperative pain. After some operations I will tell you to take an anti-inflammatory medication in addition to the narcotics. Examples of these are Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn, Relafen, Clinoril, Celebrex, Feldene, and others.
During the surgery I will often administer a powerful anti-inflammatory medication (Toradol) that is given through the intravenous line (IV).
After some operations, however, I do not want you to take an oral anti-inflammatory medication. That generally is the case if we are trying to heal a nonunion in a bone, or are doing a fusion operation. The anti-inflammatory medications may interfere with the initial bone healing.