PROTOCOL (see the flowchart below for a summary)
- Read this article and ask pain-related questions BEFORE surgery
- On the morning of surgery, prior to coming into the surgery center or hospital, take one Tylenol Arthritis pill (650mg).
- Also on the morning of surgery, take EITHER 400mg of Celebrex (2 pills) OR one Aleve.
- Starting on the day after the surgery, take Celebrex 200mg (1 pill) OR one Aleve once per day in the morning with something to eat.
- Also on the day after the surgery, take one Tylenol Arthritis pill according to the bottle directions. You can take up to 4000mg of Tylenol TOTAL (including narcotic pills, which have Tylenol in them) per day.
- I’ve attached a flowchart to these instructions that should make this easier – take a look!
- Take narcotic pills according to the directions on the bottle. Most patients only need 5 or 6 pills total after surgery.
- Keep your operated hand and arm above your heart as much as possible for the first two days after surgery. This keeps swelling and pain to a minimum and can be as effective as taking medicine.
WARNINGS AND MORE DETAILS
- Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, aspirin, and extra-strength Tylenol are not long-acting anti-inflammatory medications – these don’t work as well as the Tylenol Arthritis or the Aleve.
- Tylenol and acetaminophen are the same thing – you’ll see acetaminophen or “APAP” on the narcotic pain pill bottle. This is the drug you can only take 4000mg of per day.
- Celebrex is prescription-only. Ask me if I have samples. You can take Aleve as an alternative, which you can buy at the store. If you take Celebrex, you’ll need 2 pills for the morning of surgery, and four pills (one per day) after the day of surgery.
- On the morning of surgery, take each pill with a small sip of water.
- Caffeine can interfere with the action of acetaminophen (the drug in Tylenol), so you should try to avoid any caffeine for a day or so.