This handout explains the follow-up care after surgery to repair your elbow fracture. The surgery was important in order to repair the joint surface and to avoid arthritis. Depending on the type of fracture, you may have a drain in place to remove excess fluid. While the drain is in place, please make sure to take the oral antibiotics that were prescribed. We will coordinate an appointment with you within 48 hours to remove the drain. Alternatively, the nurses can instruct you on how to remove it at home, if you prefer.
The splint is there for your protection, to stabilize your elbow. It is important to move your fingers throughout the day to avoid stiffness, but please do not lift anything heavy with your arm. We will coordinate a therapy appointment with you within 3-7 days to begin gentle range of motion exercises to alleviate elbow stiffness. Due to the anesthesia block and local anesthetic, you may notice numbness in your hand for up to 24 hours. If the incision is red or if there is drainage coming out of it, please call us right away. The phone number is listed on the bottom of this page. Go to the emergency room if this occurs at a night or on a weekend.