7 Tips for a Better Recovery From Orthopedic Surgery

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Every year, thousands of people have a multitude of surgeries for injuries and osteoarthritis. In the United States alone, it has been estimated that over 50 million people suffer from arthritis. If you are told that you need orthopedic surgery, there are things you can do to make your recovery go better.

  1. Start doing physical therapy before your operation. If you can, start your physical therapy well before you go in for your orthopedic surgery. This will get your muscles in better shape and make your recovery go a lot better. If you went to your doctor for knee pain, by strengthening the muscles in your legs and working with physical therapists, you will have a recovery that goes by much faster.
  2. Take your medication as prescribed. After any orthopedic surgery, you will be given prescriptions for pain medication. Some people think they should not take it but there are good reasons to take it as prescribed by your orthopedic surgeon. Pain can weaken your immune system. While you should not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking the medication, you should take it as your doctor tells you to. Many people, especially when they did work before their surgery to get their body in better shape, do not need it for more than a few days but if you are in pain, take the medication you were given.
  3. Follow the advice of your orthopedic surgeon and their staff. When you have any surgery, your surgeon will have advice for things you should do afterward. It is very important that you follow it. The instructions they give you were made for you and your situation. If you have questions about what they want you to do and why you should take the time to ask but not following their advice is not a good plan.
  4. Go in for your follow up doctor’s visit. After you have any kind of operation, you will set up a follow-up appointment with your surgeon. They will want to see how you are doing and what the incision area looks like. This is important for them to see if any problems are developing that they need to deal with. It is always possible for your incision site to become infected. Getting that early can make a big difference in dealing with it. They will most likely recommend more physical therapy so you should get started on that as soon as you can.
  5. Prepare to relax for a bit. After you have any kind of surgery, from a tooth extraction to a hip replacement, your body needs time to recover. Many people are anxious to get back to work but it will take you longer to get better after surgery if you rush back to your job. There are few times in life when you have carte blanche to relax like you do after a surgery. Take advantage of that to rest and relax, and recover.
  6. Get your home ready. Before you go in for surgery, stock your home with foods that you like and are easy to prepare. If you have people around you who can help, make sure you communicate with them what you will need after you have your surgery. You also may want to get some books you would like to read, especially if you never have the time to read normally. Fill up your DVR or Netflix list with programs and movies you want to watch or binge on.
  7. Prepare to go to a rehabilitation facility if you need to. There are some people who need a larger orthopedic surgery such as a hip replacement, you may benefit from going to a rehabilitation facility. They can get you started on your physical therapy in a better place than your home. Before you go into have your operation, make sure you talk to your orthopedic surgeon to see what they think about this. Their office can help you make the arrangements.

Having any kind of surgery can be scary and stressful. Orthopedic surgery is no exception. There are things you can do before to lower your stress level and make your recovery after your operation go better. Following these tips will really help.

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