The decision to undergo surgery to relieve joint pain is one to take seriously. Well before you schedule the procedure, you’ll make numerous decisions with regards to your work, household, and other commitments. More importantly, you’ll need to prepare for the recovery process which varies from patient to patient. Depending on your operation, you may require several weeks to as long as three months to fully recover.
Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapists can consult with you and guide you through recovery. As you look toward your surgery, consider these four points to help ease the process of healing, mentally and physically.
Whether your procedure is designed to relieve pain in your knees, elbows, or lower back, adjustments at home are required to maintain your quality of life as you recuperate. Inquire about special equipment for mobility, using the bathroom, or showering. Have meals prepared in advance to save time and stress from cooking.
Exercise keeps joints fluid and flexible. After your surgery, you may meet with a physical therapist who will assist you with routines designed to keep you active while you heal. You may also wish to consult about activities you can perform on your own to keep up your energy.
Medication is an important part of the recovery process, provided you observe all prescription instructions. Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend specific pain relievers as you recuperate, to take only as prescribed. If you find the meds are not helping or cause side effects, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor.
Every patient heals differently, and at their own pace. You may feel frustrated if you find your recovery is taking longer than expected. Listen to your body, get the rest you need, and let the experts in physical and occupational therapy help you.