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A Caregiver's Guide: Controlling Discomfort

As with any surgery, a certain amount of pain is standard during the recovery process. You can help ease the patient’s discomfort
by doing the following:

  • Administer pain medicine at least 30 minutes before
    physical therapy.
  • Encourage the patient to gradually wean him or herself
    from prescription medication. Follow the surgeon's recommendations for taking over-the-counter medication
    in place of prescription medication.
  • Have the patient change position every 45 minutes
    throughout the day.
  • Use ice for pain control. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time
    each hour to decrease discomfort. If the patient doesn’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a kitchen towel serves as a good substitute. Mark the bag of peas and return them to the freezer to be used as an ice pack later.
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