Healing After Surgery: What Patients Need To Know

Posted on Jan 16, 2013, by

Although healing from joint surgery can seem challenging, following your recovery plan is vital for a successful outcome. Your doctor will give you important instructions about exercises, physical therapy, and rest so that you can safely begin using your joint again. Once you return home, you are in charge of realizing the full benefits of your surgery.

Whether you’ve had a hip, knee or shoulder replacement or arthroscopic surgery like ACL or an MCL, you and your healthcare team are partners in your recovery plan. Your instructions can include restricting certain activities. If you are an active person, avoiding strenuous tasks and overwork can be tough. It can even feel like dropping the ball during an already difficult time. While the temptation to push yourself is understandable, keep in mind that rest and limited exercise are part of your doctor’s instructions and essential for healing. The more you commit to your plan, the more quickly you can resume your normal life.

You may also work closely with a physical therapist. Physical therapy is crucial to regaining your strength and flexibility after surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and rehabilitation, you will meet regularly with your therapist, as well as exercise at home. You may have days when you will be tempted to ease up on the regimen because of fatigue, pain, or a busy schedule. Doing so without medical advice can delay your recovery. Instead, speak with your doctor or physical therapist about any concerns.

When managing a lengthy recovery, good planning can keep you on track. Map out the goals of each rehabilitation step with your surgeon or physical therapist. Understanding recovery milestones will enable you to see your progress and stay motivated. To help you stick with your schedule, consider asking a friend or relative to be your accountability partner.

It is also important to plan for your needs after surgery. Many common activities such as driving will likely be off limits for several weeks, and your home setting may need to be modified. Orthopedic experts recommend that if you do not have help at home, arrange for assistance prior to surgery so that you can focus on healing afterward.

To learn more about joint surgery, contact the trusted Wisconsin orthopedic surgeons at the Kennedy Center today by calling 920-223-0123 or toll free at 800-322-2141. Orthopedic specialists can advise you on options and what to expect with treatment and recovery. With commitment and planning, you can master your healing and achieve your fullest quality of life.