Ice or cold therapy after surgery

Ice After Surgery and Ice Devices

 Ice after surgery is a great way to decrease your pain and reduce swelling.  It will speed your recovery and is recommended.

Ice Technique:  If you are using ice or ice packs from your freezer, it is most convenient to apply the ice for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off.  Place a thin piece of cloth between the ice pack and your skin.

Ice with a splint or cast:  Ice will help if it is cold enough to penetrate.  If you can feel it, then it is working.  With a cast or splint, you need to use extra caution to prevent water from leaking into the cast/splint.

Ice and Nerve Blocks: Use caution if you have had a nerve block when using ice in the first 24-72 hours as you may not be able to sense how cold your skin is getting.  This puts you at risk of getting frostbite.

Ice Device:  You may be prescribed a cooler with a bladder to circulate ice water after surgery.  These devices do a great job of keeping your surgical site iced down.  If you have difficulty with your device, please call the technical assistance number on the device as the on-call doctor at the office will not likely be able to talk you through trouble shooting the machine..