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ElbowsElbow Surgery Tips

Here is What Dr. Sforzo and Dr. Dillingham Want You to Know to Maximize Your Recovery


  • Move your fingers and thumb into and out of a fist 5-10 times an hour. Try to get the fingers all the way straight and all the way into a fist.
  • Use your hand for light, everyday tasks such as feeding yourself, tying your shoes, and putting your clothes on.
  • You may take a shower and remove the dressing two days after your surgery. Apply new dry dressing after showering.
  • If you are in a splint leave your dressing and underlying splint on. We will remove this at your post-op appointment.
  • Use your hand to do some nominal writing and typing.
  • Elevate your arm as much as possible for 48 hours after surgery. This means pointing fingers toward the sky.


  • Get your dressing wet.
  • Do any heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling. Even a refrigerator door may be too much.
  • Play any sports.
  • Sweat under the dressing and make the wound moist.
  • Place any creams, ointments, or Neosporin/Polysporin in the incisions. Think Dry!!
  • Remove the sutures or the dressing.
  • Drive until you speak to the doctor at your post-op appointment.


  • If you do get the dressing or wounds wet, take off the dressing and pat the wounds dry, then call the office.
  • If you feel the dressing is too tight or you feel the need to change the dressing before your post-op appointment, please call the office.
  • It is normal to have some pain at the operative site.
  • It is normal to still have some stiffness in the fingers after surgery. The more you move the fingers the less stiff they will be.
  • It is normal to have some bruising begin to show in the forearm after a day or so.
  • If you are having any problems or concerns, please call the office.
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