Orthopedic surgery is a specialized field of medicine that addresses issues related to the musculoskeletal system. This can include conditions and injuries affecting the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles.
Rehabilitation following orthopedic surgery is an essential step in the recovery process. It’s not just about getting back on your feet, but also about regaining your lost strength, flexibility, and overall functionality.
Let’s explore the various aspects of orthopedic surgery and the critical role of rehabilitation in helping patients regain their mobility and quality of life.
The Need for Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic surgery is performed when traditional treatments, such as rest, physiotherapy, and medications, are no longer effective in treating musculoskeletal disorders.
Orthopedic surgery can be used to replace joints, fix fractures, repair ligaments and tendons, treat sports injuries, and correct deformities.
The Surgical Procedure
Depending on the condition being treated, orthopedic surgery techniques can range from minimally invasive to open surgery.
A minimally invasive approach is an advanced orthopedic surgery in which surgeons make small incisions in the operated area and use specialized instruments to see and treat the underlying problem. Open surgery, on the other hand, involves making larger incisions to access the area that has been affected.
The surgical process itself is a team effort involving the orthopedic surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and other medical professionals. Patients are typically put under general or regional anesthesia during the procedure.
The Journey to Full Recovery from Orthopedic Surgery
The journey to full recovery from orthopedic surgery typically involves the following steps:
Acute Rehabilitation Phase
This is the first phase of the rehabilitation process that usually begins immediately after the surgery and typically lasts for weeks to months, depending on the individual’s condition and type of surgery.
During this phase, the primary focus is to decrease post-op pain and inflammation and to increase the range of motion, strength, and flexibility of the treatment area. Patients are initially restricted from weight-bearing and participating in daily activities. They may need crutches or walkers to move around. Regular physical therapy will be a crucial part of this phase. It involves a range of exercises designed to restore mobility, strength, and balance.
Subacute Rehabilitation Phase
The second phase of the rehabilitation process is the subacute rehabilitation phase. This phase typically starts a few months after the surgery and lasts for several months, depending on the type of surgery.
The focus in this phase is on regaining function, strength, and endurance. Patients start to perform weight-bearing activities, such as walking, with assistance. They also perform strengthening exercises and conditioning exercises to improve their stamina.
Post-Acute Rehabilitation Phase
The third and final phase of the rehabilitation process is the post-acute phase. This phase follows the subacute phase and typically lasts for several months up to a year.
At this phase, patients continue to perform strength and endurance exercises and gradually progress into more advanced activities such as running and jumping.
Tips for a Successful Recovery from Orthopedic Surgery
Here are some tips that you can follow to successfully recover from orthopedic surgery.
- Follow your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions about medication, post-op incision care, and follow-up appointments.
- Eat whole food to provide your body with the necessary nutrients.
- Stick to your rehabilitation plan.
- Get enough sleep.
Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Antonio
The journey to full recovery after orthopedic surgery can be challenging. It takes time, effort, and focus to achieve a full recovery.
If you think you might need orthopedic surgery for your unique musculoskeletal system problem and seek proper evaluation, visit us here at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. We have a team of highly trained orthopedic surgeons who offer advanced and comprehensive treatments for a full range of orthopedic injuries and conditions while ensuring that your orthopedic journey with us is as comfortable as possible.