Your Care at Home after Compartment Release (Fasciectomy)
Compartment release removes part of the tissue that surrounds your leg muscles to relieve pressure.
This handout will review your care at home after surgery. Your nurse will go over it with you. We hope it makes your return home go smoothly. If you have questions, please call.
Care of the Incision
Your incision is closed under the skin so you won’t have stitches that need to be removed. The outside skin is closed with special tape. Gauze dressings are placed over the incision. An elastic bandage (ace wrap) is placed over the dressing. The ace wrap should be wrapped snugly so you feel support to the leg, but not so tight that it causes swelling or pain in the foot. If the ace wrap feels too tight or too loose, re-wrap it. Wrap the ace snugly starting at the toe crease up to the knee.
You may have a drain placed in your incision. If so, the nurse will show you how to care for your drain before you go home.
You will be seen in clinic for your first dressing changes most often in 2 days. After that, you may remove them and shower. You should take only brief showers. Pat the incisions dry, leaving the tape in place. Do not remove the strips of tape over the incisions; you may trim the edges as they peel. Do not use ointments, creams, or powders on the incisions. After your shower, rewrap the ace wraps. Wear them when you are out of bed for the next 7 – 10 days. This helps to control ankle swelling. If swelling is still present after 7 – 10 days, you should wear the ace wrap for an extra week until the swelling has disappeared.
Limit your activity and raise your legs as much as you can for the first 48 hours. You can use crutches until you are able to walk pain free with a heel strike (about 72 hours). See Health Facts for You #4626 Home Exercise Program.
It is common to have some pain or discomfort. Your doctor will prescribe pain pills for you to use if you need it. It is unusual to have severe pain that is not controlled by rest, elevation, and taking pain pills. If this occurs, call your doctor.
You should not drive for 5 to 7 days or while you are taking prescription pain pills.
When to Call Your Doctor
After 48 hours, you should look at your incisions daily for signs of infection. Call if you notice:
- Red and/or warm incision site.
- Foul-smelling or pus-like drainage (green or yellow) from the incisions.
- Temperature over 100.4° F.
- Increased pain or swelling.
- Bleeding or drainage associated with pain and swelling.
- New symptoms which make it hard for you to walk or maintain your daily routine.
You will need to return to the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Clinic in 2 to 3 days to check your incision.
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, call the Peripheral Vascular Clinic (608) 263-8915.
After Hours, Nights and Weekends, this number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the PVS (Peripheral Vascular Surgery) doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/05/2010
Copyright © 02/05/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4627
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