Bone Grafting Post-Procedural Care

Following your bone graft procedure:


  • Discomfort is normal, and is often dependent upon the extent of your individual procedure & your unique threshold to pain.
  • If you were given prescription pain medication, take your first dose before the numbness wears off as it is ALWAYS more effective to stay ahead of pain rather than “playing catch up.”
  • If you were not prescribed pain medication, you can rotate acetaminophen (Tylenol) & ibuprofen (Motrin) every 4 hours to reduce swelling & discomfort if you have no personal contraindications to these medications.
  • Some pain meds may cause nausea in certain individuals.  For this reason, it is important to take pain medication with food.  You may also half the dose of your prescription pain med and alternate instead with an OTC pain reliever from a different drug group (meaning if your prescription pain med contains acetaminophen, then alternate with ibuprofen OR if your prescription pain med contains ibuprofen, then alternate with acetaminophen AS LONG AS THERE IS NO DRUG SPECIFIC OR PERSONAL CONTRAINDICATIONS WITH YOUR SPECIFIC HEALTH HISTORY) in order to reduce the frequency of the prescription pain med as well.  If nausea does not subside, discontinue the prescription pain medication and opt instead for OTC pain relievers.  Our office may call you in an anti-nausea medication where indicated if the prescription pain medication is required. 
  • Please follow all warnings associated w/ any prescribed pain meds as highlighted in the drug warnings supplied by your pharmacist as noted on the bottle as well as in any literature given with the medication.  Opioid analgesics may result in dependency.  They commonly cause severe drowsiness.  Do not operate a motor vehicle or machinery while taking opioid pain relievers.  Opioids may slow down breathing.  Mixing opioids with alcohol or certain other centrally-acting drugs heighten this effect, and could result in death.  Do not take any prescribed opioid medications if you have a previous drug dependency that you failed to disclose to your provider, if you can’t adhere to any of the warnings listed, or if any of this information makes you feel uncomfortable in taking any prescribed pain medication.  
  • DO NOT disturb the graft site.  Avoid chewing on the treated side.  Avoid vigorous rinsing and excessive spitting to prevent 1.) the loss of graft material and 2.) damage to the healing process.  Continue with oral hygiene as a clean oral environment will cut down on harmful bacteria to aid in healing, but do be careful as to not poke or gouge the site while brushing/flossing.  
  • Some bleeding is normal after your procedure. You will not be released from our office until it is observed that the extent of your post-procedural bleeding is within the range of normal and expected.  You should try to keep gauze at your graft site for the first 30 minutes after your procedure IF the doctor advised such.  There are instances where your doctor will request no immediate pressure to the materials used for your graft, and in these cases, will advise no gauze.  If, in your case, pressure on gauze was advised, after 30 minutes you can remove your gauze.  If excessive bleeding persists, you can reapply provided new gauze in this area for another 30 minutes.  Bleeding should stop within 2-4 hours following surgery.
  • Limit physical activity for the first 48 hours after your surgery to prevent graft rejection & swelling.  No cardio during this time.  Rest & allow your body to focus on the healing process.  
  • Do not lift heavy objects or strain yourself in anyway until sutures are removed (about 10-14 days).  This is important for your body’s healing.  
  • Avoid using a straw for several days after your surgery to prevent dislodging the blood clot a/o grafting material & delaying healing.
  • Avoid smoking completely as it increases your risk of dry socket & delays healing.
  • Swelling may occur after surgery & is normal.  The worst swelling is typically  within the 24-48 hours following any surgical procedure and will oftentimes begin slowly reducing following this period.  If you experience swelling, you can use a cold compress in the area, or you may take anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen as directed.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic after surgery, it is important that you finish it all.
  • You can eat after your numbness wears off, however, it is important that you watch what foods you are eating.  Avoid eating anything small like rice, seeds or beans that can lodge in your surgical site.  Eating soft, bland foods is ideal for the first 48 hours after surgery.
  • If sutures were placed for your particular procedure, they will not dissolve on their own.  You should not touch, pull at, play with, or attempt to remove your own sutures.  Please make your sutures removal appointment so that our team can safely remove your sutures so as not to harm the surgical site, AND so that we may check the progress of your healing.

 

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