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Joint Incision and Drainage
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Joint incision and drainage is surgery to open an infected joint and drain the pus.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You have trouble breathing.
Call your doctor or surgeon if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics help fight your joint infection.
- NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
- Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
- You may need to wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed.
- Check the wound each day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.
- Wash your hands before and after you change the bandages.
- Wear the splint as directed by your surgeon.
- Go to physical therapy if directed. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:
You will need to return to have your wound checked and stitches or gauze removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.