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When you are first discharged from hospital you may need a bit more help than you did before your admission.

It is important to remember that it can take time to recover from the fracture and the operation to repair it.

Home support

If you require assistance with home tasks eg; cleaning floors, hanging washing and your own personal showering and dressing then the Social Worker will discuss with you what can be put in place appropriate to your circumstances. Not everyone is entitled to cleaning assistance. If there is someone else in the house who is able-bodied and has capacity to do these tasks, you may not be eligible. Please discuss this with your social worker if you have any concerns.

If you previously had home support you will need to advise the Social Worker/nursing staff of which home care provider you use. The home care provider will then be informed of when you are going home so they resume your home care support.
If your injury has been caused by an accident, such as a fall, then home support services will be provided via ACC. If your injury is not related to an accident then support will be organised by the District Health Board.

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Re-instating home support…

District Nurse

Following discharge from the hospital, a district nurse may need to call on you to check your wound and remove any stitches or clips that you may have.

Equipment to help at home:

Depending on the type of surgery you have had, you may require some equipment to help you to manage safely in your daily activities within your home environment. Your needs will be assessed by your Occupational Therapist in relation to essential equipment.

Diet

You may eat your usual diet but we suggest you eat more fruit, vegetables and fibrous foods. We also encourage you to drink plenty of fluid.

Constipation

Normal bowel action

The normal frequency of passing bowel motions should be between three times per day to three times per week. Bowel motions should be formed and easy to pass.

What is constipation?

Constipation is when you have hard, dry, difficult to pass bowel movements, or you go longer than usual between bowel movements.

Note - A mixture of hard and runny loose bowel motions can be a sign of severe constipation.

What causes constipation?

  • Not drinking enough water.
  • Having too much fibre in your diet.
  • Limited intake of food.
  • Lack of exercise or mobility.
  • Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet.
  • Medications - many pain relief tablets can lead to constipation.

What are the signs and symptoms of constipation?

  • Straining to pass a bowel motion.
  • Pain or bleeding from the rectum during your bowel movement.
  • A feeling that you did not empty your bowel completely.
  • Nausea/reduced appetite.
  • Stomach cramps and bloating.
  • Headache.

What can I do to manage my constipation?

  • Increase your fluid intake to 1-2 litres a day.
  • Eat regular healthy meals including all the food groups.
  • Exercise - go for regular short walks.
  • Go to the toilet around ten minutes after you have eaten.
  • Sit leaning forward slightly with your elbows on your knees.

It is important not to wait too long before you seek assistance with constipation. If your symptoms persist for 3 days, please contact your GP.

Treatment

You should talk to your GP about your constipation to ensure you are taking the most suitable bowel medication for you. These include:

  • Stool softeners
  • Bowel stimulants
  • Osmotic laxatives
  • Bulk formers
  • Suppositories and enemas

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Physiotherapy when you leave hospital

It is important you continue to regularly do the exercises you were given by your physiotherapist. If you require physiotherapy after you have been discharged from hospital your physiotherapist will discuss this with you before you are discharged from hospital.

In some cases the injury is covered by ACC in which case you can attend any private practice physiotherapist, or in some exceptional cases a physiotherapist may be able to visit you at home.

Wound care

You should keep your wound covered with the waterproof dressing applied during your hospital stay, for 10 days following surgery. Wounds can take about 10 days to heal and you may notice some oozing for a few days. After 10 days no dressing is required if the wound has healed and you may remove the dressing. If the wound is red, or oozing longer than a week after surgery, or is very swollen and painful then you should seek advice from your GP. Your GP may decide to inform your surgeon by phone call, or send you to the hospital for review. The wound and skin around the wound will be warm to touch for some weeks and sometimes months following surgery. There will be swelling of the tissues around the wound that will decrease over a few weeks to months.

Employment / Finances

Employment and financial needs can be discussed with the Social Worker who would assist you in understanding the forms required for Work and Income.

If your injury is covered by ACC and you were employed at the time of your accident, please discuss your ability to work with your doctor as an ACC medical certificate may be required to ensure you get the appropriate income support if eligible.

Medical certificate

If you require a Medical Certificate for your employer, then this will be provided to you on your discharge.

Driving

You are not allowed to drive for at least 6 weeks after your operation. This can be due to the type of surgery you have had but in many cases car insurance will not cover you for 6 weeks after an operation. You should discuss this with your surgeon.

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Last updated: August 31, 2017