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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hardware removal is surgery to take out devices used to hold your broken bones together while they heal. These devices may include pins, screws, plates, or wires. You may need hardware removed because you have pain or an infection. You may develop an allergy to the device. Hardware in young children may need to be removed to prevent problems with bone growth.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You will need to return to have your wound checked and stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Rest often while you recover: Ask when you can return to your usual activities.
- Use support devices as directed: Crutches, a cane, or a walker will help you move around and decrease your risk of falling. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about how to use your support device.
- Wound care: Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever and chills.
- You have a cough or feel weak and achy.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have more pain and swelling, even after you take medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.