Wound Care

A bulky dressing is applied to the surgical site (Figure

18.1). This dressing is left in place until the first postoperative day, allowing time for extravasated fluid from surgery to be absorbed into the dressing. Usually, this has subsided enough to remove the dressing within the first 24 hours. The patient should be reassured that it is normal for the dressing to feel wet from the irrigation fluid and that it may be blood tinged.

The patient should be aware that the surgeon will make three or four arthroscopy portals. Each of these portals will be closed with a single suture. Patients, and even allied health professionals, are often surprised at the anatomic location of the portals. They envision them being located more cephalad (Figure

The portals are cleaned daily with hydrogen peroxide and water. An adhesive bandage can then be applied until the sutures are removed. The patient may shower on the first postoperative day, taking care to keep water from running directly over the portals. If the portals show signs of adequate healing, the sutures

FIGURE 18.1. An absorbent dressing collects extravasated fluid that leaks Out through the portals.

may be removed 3 to 5 days postoperatively and steri-strips applied.

It takes approximately 7 to 10 days for the portals to heal completely. During this time, showering is allowed, but the patient should avoid submersing the operative hip in a bathtub, hot tub, or swimming pool.

It is important to educate patients regarding the signs and symptoms of infection. They should be advised to contact the nurse if they develop any redness or drainage at the portal sites or if they develop a high fever.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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