Knee surgery is never fun but many people have to have it every year. Whether you are recovering from an ACL replacement or repair, a total knee replacement or any knee operation, there are things you can do to make the recovery period go faster and be less painful. Experts from orthopedic services offices recommend the following tips.
- If you can, prepare for your surgery with physical therapy before the operation. You may not have this as an option if your surgery is due to an accident or sudden injury. For many people, physical therapy begins as treatment for an injury or problem long before any surgery is considered. In these instances, you can prepare yourself in advance of the surgery. The better shape you and your muscles are in before you have an operation, the easier your recovery will be, say orthopedic services experts. Any work you do before your operation will pay off afterwards.
- Do not scrimp on rest. Your body needs all the rest it can get after a surgery to heal. It can be hard for people who are used to being active to take a break from doing the things they love. It is critically important that you give yourself the time your body needs to get over an operation. If you rush this stage of your recovery, you risk injuring yourself further and making the time you have to spend longer. The acronym most often used by orthopedic specialists is RICE, this stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. As you can see, “rest” is the first part of that.
- Use lots of ice. Surgery will result in at least a decent amount of swelling. Use as much ice as you can stand but do not keep it on for long periods of time, think 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. This will help reduce the swelling and help the healing process. Orthopedic services specialists recommend using ice after an injury and after surgery. Any orthopedic surgeon would tell you that ice can do a lot for the recovery process.
- Consider compression therapy. Another way to get that swelling down is to use an active compression system to move the excess fluid from around your knee. This helps your body heal. At the very least you should have the knee wrapped to keep swelling down. Your body will heal better if you do whatever you can to get that fluid away from your knee.
- Do more physical therapy.You may have done some physical therapy before your operation and you will do more after. This will help get your muscles back into shape and help you stretch the muscles and tissues around the knee and aid in support. You need to follow the advice your physical therapist gives you to the letter. You may be inclined to want to do more than what they recommend but you really should stick to their program for you. They are orthopaedic services experts and know what works and does not work when a patient is healing from knee surgery.
Most people do not get enough exercise. Nearly seven out of ten adults do not get anywhere near the recommended amount of exercise. More than 80% do not do enough cardio or strength training exercise. This is a global problem and inactivity is a leading cause of death around the globe. It is the fourth leading cause of death. People do not need any excuses to avoid working out.
Injuries can derail even the best laid plans for exercise. Orthopedic services staff will tell you that people who have had a total hip replacement, a knee or other joint replacement surgery need to get back into shape once they are healed up. That does not mean they should not be careful. If you were active before the surgery, you should be able to get back to the sports and activities that you love doing. If you were not active before your operation, you should consider using this as an excuse to get you started on the road to a more active lifestyle. Either way, recovery from knee and other surgery is very doable.