Many people hesitate when it comes to orthopedic surgery due to fears of a lengthy, difficult, and painful recovery. When you go into treatment, what you want is to be free of the pain and other symptoms that you are experiencing. Truthfully, there are some orthopedic surgeries that are challenging to recover from. Operating on the spine and joint replacements are two examples.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure that involves fusing two vertebrae together to prevent movement that causes pain. In most cases, bone grafting is involved. The doctor takes bone from the hip and uses it to help facilitate bone growth and fuse the vertebrae. Patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery usually have degenerative disc disease and a deformed, diseased spine or a narrowed spinal canal. Complete recovery from spinal fusion surgery is extended and may take up to six months, which is the maximum time it takes for the vertebrae to fuse to the bone graft. Hospital stays for spinal fusion surgery usually last several days.
Total Joint Replacement
A total joint replacement is a procedure that replaces a damaged or diseased joint with a highly durable prosthesis made from a combination of metal, ceramic, and plastic that feels and functions like the natural joint. Patients can expect pain relief and improved joint function after completing rehabilitation, which begins the day after surgery. A total joint replacement requires a hospital stay of at least three days or longer, and the patient will need some degree of assistance in the six weeks following surgery. Pain management is very important during recovery. Medication and physical therapy can help with controlling pain and gradually restoring function and flexibility to your joints.
Recovery from total joint replacement depends on the condition of the patient going into surgery. Age is also an important factor. In some cases, complete recovery takes a year, but many patients should be able to drive after going off pain medication and return to office work as long as the joint operated on doesn’t interfere with the movements required for activities.
Minimally-Invasive Orthopedic Surgery
The damage to the healthy tissue that occurs during total joint replacement contributes to a lengthy and more challenging recovery. Many orthopedic surgeons use a minimally-invasive technique of replacing joints using smaller incisions and specialized tools, which means little or no damage to healthy tissue, less bleeding, reduced postoperative pain, and a faster recovery period. Similarly, spinal fusion surgery can also be performed using a minimally-invasive technique using smaller incisions, which directly affects recovery experience and time.
If you have chronic problems with your spine or joints, you may be a good candidate for minimally-invasive surgery. Make sure to choose an orthopedic surgeon that’s experienced in minimally-invasive techniques for better outcomes.
Minimally-Invasive Surgery in Naples, FL
At the Joint Replacement Institute, our orthopedic surgeons regularly perform minimally-invasive orthopedic surgeries and offer the latest techniques, such as robotic surgery, to eligible patients for greater precision, control, and results. If you have questions about the latest procedures that can help you have a shorter recovery period or would like to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, call (239) 261-2663 or request an appointment online now.