Wound care after orthopedic surgery (1304)

Key points below

Why is orthopedic wound care needed?

After surgery it is important to do wound care at home.  This helps the wound to heal.  It also prevents the wound from becoming infected.

What supplies are needed?

Gauze sponges
Other: _______________________________________

How often is wound care done?

The dressing is left in place for 3 to 4 days after the procedure.

Follow these steps to change the dressing:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water. 
2. Take off the old dressing and throw it away.  Look at the wound for signs of infection.  Signs include redness, swelling and drainage.  If the drainage is green call your child’s doctor.
3. Wash your hands again with soap and water. 
4. Cover the wound with a dry gauze sponge.  Use tape to keep the gauze in place. 

Will the dressing change hurt?

Taking the tape off the old dressing may cause some pain.  Older children may find that helping remove the tape helps lessen the pain.  Your child must wash their hands with soap and water if they help with their own dressing change.



Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • Redness around the wound that gets worse.
  • Drainage from the wound that makes the dressing wet within 24 hours.
  • Swelling of the skin around the wound.
  • Pain that gets worse or lasts 7 to 10 days after going home from the hospital.
  • A temperature of 101.2F (38.3C) or higher.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.