Orthopedic surgery is generally considered the best option when conservative treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, have failed to provide sufficient relief for a patient’s musculoskeletal condition.
Rehabilitation, also referred to as postoperative rehabilitation or post-surgical rehabilitation, is a crucial phase in the recovery process. It focuses on restoring strength, mobility, and function. If you want to get back to your daily activities and have the best possible outcome from surgery, you need to be committed to your rehabilitation program.
What is Involved in Postoperative Rehabilitation?
The specific rehabilitation program for you will depend on the type of surgery and the patient’s needs. Most rehab programs involve the following components:
1. Early Mobilization
Initially, the emphasis is on gentle movements and mobility exercises to prevent stiffness and promote blood flow. This may include assisted walking, range of motion exercises, and simple stretches.
2. Physical Therapy
This may involve a combination of exercises, stretches, and manual techniques guided by a physical therapist. The goal is to gradually restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the affected area.
3. Occupational Therapy
For surgeries affecting hand or upper extremity function, occupational therapy focuses on tasks of daily living, fine motor skills, and regaining functional use of the affected limb.
4. Assistive Devices
Depending on the surgery, assistive devices like crutches, braces, or splints may be provided to support mobility and protect the surgical site.
How To Have a Smooth Rehabilitation Experience
Patients who are committed to their recovery usually have a faster recovery. The sooner you regain your strength, the quicker you can return to your daily activities.
Here are 10 useful tips for a smooth rehabilitation:
1. Follow Postoperative Instructions
Adhere closely to the specific instructions provided by your surgeon and healthcare team. This includes medication intake, activity restrictions, bathing, diet, and wound care.
2. Manage Pain Effectively
Take pain medications as prescribed by the physician, and only take them as directed.
3. Maintain a Balanced Diet
Focus on a nutritious diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. This supports the healing process and helps keep you well.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink an adequate amount of water daily to promote optimal healing and prevent dehydration.
5. Engage in Gentle Movement and Rehabilitation
6. Prioritize Rest and Sleep
Ensure you get enough restorative sleep and allow your body the time it needs to heal. Consider adjustments to your sleeping environment, such as using supportive pillows or sleeping in a reclined position, if recommended.
7. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can hinder the healing process. If possible, abstain from these substances during your recovery.
8. Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. These visits are important and allow members of your care team to monitor your progress.
9. Monitor for Signs of Complications
Be vigilant for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge from the surgical site. Let your doctor know if there are any unusual symptoms that you are experiencing.
10. Reach Out To Others
Recovery from orthopedic surgery can be emotionally challenging. It is important to keep a positive mindset for recovery. If you are struggling or feeling alone, reach out to a family member, relative, or friend.
Top Orthopedic Surgeons in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia
Don’t let musculoskeletal issues hold you back any longer. The expert orthopedic team at Watauga Orthopaedics is here to help you regain mobility and live your best life.
It is important to us that our patients are supported through the different stages of treatment, from before surgery to postoperative rehabilitation. This makes us a top orthopedic team in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, with locations in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol.
To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call our office today at (423) 282-9011 or use our online request form. We are excited to have the opportunity to assist you with all your orthopedic needs!