Hand & Upper Extremity

Tips for decreasing your post-operataive pain

David I. Katz, MD

Following the program below will greatly decrease your post-operative pain.

Surgery Day AM

Take 1 Aleve 220 mg* (or generic naproxen sodium 220mg) and 1 Tylenol Arthritis 650 mg** (or generic acetaminophen 650 mg “arthritis” or “extended release”), with just a sip of water, prior to leaving your house.

Surgery Day PM

Take 1 Aleve 220 mg and 1 Tylenol Arthritis 650 mg the afternoon/evening after surgery (with food and water).

Days After Surgery

Take 1 Aleve 220 mg twice a day and 1 Tylenol Arthritis 650 mg three times a day (with food and water) for 2-3 days after the surgery.  After 2-3 days, take the Aleve and Tylenol Arthritis only as needed.


  • Aleve plus Tylenol Arthritis is a case of 1+1=3, not 2. That is, they work together as a team to make each other stronger.
  • Only take the narcotic pain medicine if needed (this contains acetaminophen). Do not exceed 4g of Tylenol (acetaminophen) over a 24 hr period.

*Patients with a history of heart disease, stroke, stomach ulcers, reflux, kidney disease, a known allergy to aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or who are currently taking blood thinning medication or are pregnant should consult their primary care doctor before taking Aleve (or naproxen sodium).

**Patients with a history of liver disease or significant alcohol consumption should consult their primary care doctor before taking Tylenol (or acetaminophen).

According to a 1999 Pain Study performed by Board Certified Hand Surgeon David Lincoln Nelson, MD, the above regimen is proven to reduce post-operative pain among hand surgery patients.  It is also preferred by patients versus taking narcotic medications to address pain.  Dr. Katz cares about your pain and is interested in providing only the best treatment available.

David I. Katz, MD
Hand & Upper Extremity