Orthopedic surgery can be simple, or complex, or minimally invasive, or extensive. Depending on the orthopedic problem, location, severity, and patient’s condition, the doctor makes a treatment plan. The doctor discusses the treatment plan with the patient and their family for approval. The patient clears their doubts, gives consent, and undergoes ortho surgery.
Orthopedic surgery can have a long recovery and rehabilitation process. There are ways to make sure that the recovery goes smoothly and the patient gets back on their feet successfully. Let’s get into the essentials of ortho surgery recovery.
The period after the surgery is as important as the surgery itself. The patient spends the first few days in the hospital under observation. The doctor and nurses track the recovery process. In time, the patient shifts from the ICU or HDU to a regular hospital room. A physiotherapist helps with the initial movements (getting out of bed and walking), and then a long-term specialist is introduced for rehabilitation. Once the patient seems fit to go back home, the doctor advises medicines and gives some necessary instruction.
Before the surgery, the patient is given basic instructions for what they will need at their homes after the procedure. Adding railings to the stairs and bathroom, having someone to assist with daily chores, and having emergency contact information is helpful. Doctors advise patients to keep easy-to-make meals, incision care supplies, medicines, loose and comfortable clothes, antimicrobial wash and soaps, water, and other necessities at home.
Physical therapy can get exhausting and stressful. But, it is the only thing that can improve and quicken the patient’s recovery. Communicating with your therapist about any difficulties can help ease the stress and build a fruitful relationship.
Patients should try following the physiotherapy exercises given to them. In many cases, the physiotherapist also assigns some home exercises that can be very helpful if done correctly.
Also, following instructions given by the doctor is a no-brainer. But, many times, patients forget some of these instructions and face difficulties during their recovery. Adapting to virtual care services that can assist with sending reminders and track recovery is a good idea.
Take medicines according to their dosage and timings. Avoid any activities that the doctor has not approved. Make a note of any other advice the doctor gives. Follow up with the doctor whenever necessary.
A necessary part of after-surgery recovery is caring for the incision. Looking for redness, wound drainage, pus, foul odor, and swelling is part of incision care.
The doctor shares information on how to clean the incision, bandage it, and avoid infections. Detailed information is also available on DayToDay Health’s app for post-surgical care. The app also allows patients to take snaps of the incision for the doctor or care coach to examine it.
Doctors may prescribe pain killers and antibiotics for pain and inflammation management. Don’t stop taking medicines when you don’t have symptoms. Stopping medicines before their schedule can cause drug resistance, making them work ineffectively.
Similarly, overusing pain medications after orthopedic surgery can cause high dependency and addiction. Medicines in incorrect quantities also have the potential to damage other organs.
Part of after-surgery recovery is taking a balanced diet. Taking a healthy diet and hydrating well helps with the healing process and minimizes complications.
Patients should also avoid smoking during recovery. According to WHO, smoking delays the immune response and increases the risk of infection. It further decreases the body’s ability to deliver nutrients for proper recovery.
Doctors also recommend avoiding alcohol in the post-surgery phase. According to a study published in NCBI, alcohol exposure can impaired wound healing, impairing early inflammatory response.
After-surgery care for ortho replacement surgery, ortho implant removal surgery, or any other open surgery can be lengthy and draining. Asking for someone to help with hospital discharge, driving, household chores, and assistance should not be a problem.
Keep an eye on adverse reactions like fever, rashes, pus at the incision site, sudden overwhelming pain, breathlessness, leg pains, delirium. In such a case, contact a doctor immediately. Patients can also choose to connect with care coaches for immediate escalation of symptoms.
For information on DayToday Health’s Post-Surgery Orthopedic Care Services, contact us.