Orthopedic conditions and the pain related to them are life-altering for many. Surgery to correct issues can be life-changing. However, patients should be careful to remember that surgery day is Day One on their road to recovery. Following post-operative instructions are crucial to proper healing and recovering from surgery and a patient’s best chance at correcting whatever issue they may have been experiencing.
Depending on the procedure, the post-op treatment process can include comprehensive care, therapy, rehabilitation, and other means to ensure recovery. Just a few of the things it helps with include:
- Avoiding re-injury
- Monitoring post-op complications
- Preventing infection
- Reducing scarring
- Safe and speedy recovery
Post-op instructions are easy to ignore, but your body won’t let you forget them. And your surgeon knows that, which is why you’ll receive a specific regimen to follow in terms of activity, wound care, and physical therapy. It will be specific to your surgery and your needs. While you may receive advice or tips from a well-meaning loved one, always consult with your medical team before veering from your post-op instructions.
5 Ways to Improve Recovery After Surgery
Just like there are things you can do to impede surgery recovery, you can also help improve your rehabilitation. They’re mostly small steps you can take to avoid creating new issues.
- Cough or sneeze with care: Get precious about new incisions. Take careful precautions when sneezing or coughing. Brace your incision by applying pressure to it with your hand or a pillow.
- Pain management: Pain medication can be a sensitive topic, but when used as prescribed, it plays a critical role in ensuring proper recovery. If you are in too much pain to cough and avoid doing it, you put yourself at risk for pneumonia. If you are in too much pain to walk and refuse to do it as much as possible, blood clots become a concern. It’s also better to keep the pain under control and at a tolerable level rather than waiting until it is severe — then needing to wait for it to take effect.
- Get going: A simple step you can take after is surgery are actual steps. Outside of doctor’s orders, moving after procedures help you avoid serious complications. Walking is a gentle way to get back on your feet.
- Proper incision care: Use gentle soap and water for your wound. Don’t get it “too clean” by scrubbing off scabs or using alcohol or peroxide. Of course, always follow your personal after-care instructions if they differ.
- Drink and eat properly: Appetites tend to wane following procedures. Patients can feel nauseous, constipated, or any manner of things. Ensuring food and water intake promotes healing and minimizes complication risks.
We’re Here for You
If you have questions or feel pain that you aren’t sure is normal, always contact your specialist. If you are ready to meet with a Beacon doctor about a pain that may involve surgery, schedule an appointment today.