Recovery after any orthopedic surgery can be intense. Rehabilitation at the hospital will begin immediately after surgery. That’s why you should always make plans for post-surgery recovery time.
The length of healing time will vary from per person to person, depending on the type of surgery performed. You should be patient and have realistic expectations regarding the limitations you may encounter. Your doctor will provide information on recovery and rehabilitation.
Preparation for Surgery
A body needs time to heal after surgery, so you should make plans on recovery at home. You should shop for all of your necessities that you’ll need while you’re recovering. Shopping for food, medication, and any devices you’ll need to assist you will help you relax after surgery and not have to leave the home.
More than likely you’ll be sent home with crutches or walker. Your home will need to be clear of any obstacles to prevent falling. Purchasing or renting a shower chair will help with facilitating with bathing and prevent any accidents. Be sure to do your research and visit website that offers advice and product information to help you avoid any kind of trips and falls.
Recovery time can take from 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the surgery. Physical therapy is required, so you must make plans for transportation to and from the physical therapy office. In some cases, home health may be recommended.
A home health nurse will come to your home and help you with wound care, dressing the surgical area and physical therapy. The home health nurse will also show you how to use your “assistive devices”. The home health nurse will also show you how to perform “basic daily living tasks”, around your home safely.
Getting Around after Surgery
For knee or leg surgeries, crutches or movement machines may be prescribed. You will be instructed by your physician to use crutches, walker or a brace for as long as there is any swelling and to prevent falling. For arms, wrist or shoulder procedures, you may be given a brace to use during recovery.
This equipment will be given to you immediately after surgery. A movement machine may also be prescribed. This equipment will move your leg automatically for a period of time in order to keep the limb moving. After the orthopedic surgery, you should expect some swelling in the area. Elevation on a bed or sofa will help.
Icing the affected area will help reduce swelling. Ice packs can be used or you may rent or purchase an ice therapy machine from a medical supply company, which can be wrapped around the area for longer periods of time.
Post Operative Therapy
Physical therapy is a necessity that cannot be avoided. It is imperative after surgery that you begin some type of movement in order to heal properly. A physical therapist will show you the appropriate exercises that you should practice daily.
The longer that you are sedentary after surgery, the longer it will take you to heal and get back to everyday life. Exercise will help restore strength and mobility. It will also decrease swelling and pain in the affected area. Other exercises such as squats, leg or arm lifts will help build strength in your joints and muscles.
While recovery from surgery can be tough, physical therapy and taking your time to heal are imperative. Rushing the healing process will only prolong the misery and may impede healing. Some pain is to be expected and medication will be prescribed for you.
Follow all the directions from your physician for post-surgery recommendations to ensure a quick recovery. If you experience any redness or the site feels warm, you should contact your physician as soon as possible. At first, it may seem difficult but perseverance and patience will get you back on your feet before you know it.