Surgery can alleviate many symptoms of various orthopedic conditions and injuries. Procedures such as total joint replacement and shoulder replacement can improve mobility and give many patients a fresh lease on life.
Recovery after orthopedic surgery can typically last six months to a year, but everybody recovers at their own pace. Proper rehabilitation is a vital factor in making sure you recover and enjoy the benefits of orthopedic surgery. With the help of your medical team and family, recovery after orthopedic surgery can be a smooth ride.
Immediate Post-Operative Care
You will likely rest and be monitored for a short period immediately after surgery. Most orthopedic surgeries are outpatient procedures, so you may be able to go home on the same day of the procedure. Because of the likely general anesthesia use during surgery, be sure to make plans on how to get home safely after your procedure.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions for your recovery at home. You might be given assistive devices such as a walker or a cane to help you move around the house. They may prescribe you medication for pain management. Take these medications as recommended. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your prescribed medicine.
Your doctor will also provide wound care instructions, such as how to change and dress your wound properly. These instructions depend on which type of orthopedic surgery you have done. Follow these instructions and report any signs of infection immediately.
Examples of infection in the surgical site can be:
- Warmth and/or redness
- A bad odor or discharge from the incision site
- A deeper and/or wider opening in the incision site
- Hardness around the incision site
- Fever, sweating, and chills
What Long-Term Recovery Looks Like
Recovery can be a tiring but rewarding journey. It’s important not to rush this process and give your body time to heal.
Long-term recovery after orthopedic surgery can often be physically and mentally strenuous. A support system such as your family and your medical team can make the overall experience easier and better.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
For some orthopedic surgeries, such as hip replacement, you may be recommended for physical therapy 24 hours after your procedure. These stretches and exercises can help you acclimate to your new joint and regain your mobility and strength.
They can also show you how to start doing daily activities with ease again, such as walking and sitting. However, the complete regain of physical ability can take months.
You will likely continue with physical rehabilitation and increase the intensity of your exercises as you recover. Your physical therapist will monitor your progress and gradually introduce more exercises as necessary.
You will also notice that the frequency of the physical therapy sessions will slow down as you progress. You will likely use gym-type equipment to strengthen your muscles during this time.
Diet and Nutrition
Your diet and nutrition are important factors in your recovery plan. Protein-rich food such as lean meat and poultry and green, leafy vegetables should be added to your diet during recovery.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking plenty of water can help your body recover faster and get the nutrients and energy needed for physical therapy. You should consult your physician before taking any new vitamins during your recovery.
Post-Recovery Follow-up Appointments
Your healthcare provider will guide you through this period via follow-up appointments. These appointments can help them track your progress during recovery. They can also help you avoid complications such as hardware failure in your new joint and the development of blood clots in the treated area.
You can raise your concerns or questions to them directly during these visits. It’s essential to have clear and open communication with your healthcare provider. This ensures that your recovery is properly handled and is as comfortable as it can be.
Your healthcare provider can evaluate an appropriate time to return to work or school to minimize the risk of re-injury. It’s important to treat this recovery period as a time of rest to make sure your body recuperates well.
Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Naples, FL
With the right recovery plan, post-orthopedic surgery can be an easy and stress-free experience. It’s important to remember that recovery looks different for everyone. Having an individualized recovery plan specifically catered to your needs is essential for proper rehabilitation.
At the Joint Replacement Institute, we treat recovery with the utmost importance. We understand that creating the best recovery plan starts with understanding the individual needs of each patient.
Our orthopedic medical team is dedicated to giving you the quality and compassionate health care you deserve. From diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, we are committed to providing personalized healthcare through our various orthopedic services for patients living in the Florida area.
With the Joint Replacement Institute, your post-orthopedic surgery can be a smooth sailing experience. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our accommodating staff today by calling (239) 261-2663 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now.
We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!