Orthopedic surgery requires patient compliance for complete and prompt recovery. Our surgery center nurse will send you home with postoperative instructions and medication. It is very important to follow these instructions completely and accurately in order to prevent complications. Here are some of the common recommendations for recovering from orthopedic surgery:
1. Don’t lie around too long.
Following surgery, it’s natural to feel tired and maybe a little dizzy. Your home-going instructions will include guidelines for how much activity you can manage the first day, and afterward. Don’t lie around more than the doctor suggested, or you may slow down the recovery process as well as contribute to the possible development of other serious conditions, like blood clots or pneumonia.
2. Don’t try to do too much.
On the other hand, don’t try to return to normal too soon. Trying to do too much may damage your surgery area and require additional medical attention. By following the take-home instructions carefully, you should be able to avoid setbacks.
3. Do become increasingly active.
Per your doctor’s orders, gradually return to normal activities according to medical instructions. Avoid favoring your surgical area or overusing it, as this will only delay recovery.
4. Do follow medication guidelines.
Depending on your level of pain and pain threshold, you might be tempted to take more medication than you should. This can be dangerous, especially if you have been prescribed narcotic pain relief. Take only the amount indicated by your physician. Conversely, you don’t have to try and take less too soon. Follow the prescription guidelines so that you get the right dose at the right time.
5. Report any new symptoms to your doctor.
While home-going instructions usually state this, some patients are reluctant to inform their doctors of new symptoms, feeling that they must tough it out to avoid bothering the doctor. Actually, doctors appreciate hearing of new symptoms as soon as possible so they can deal with the problem while it is just starting rather than waiting for a major issue to develop. Call our office and leave a message to let us know.
Working through post-surgery recovery can go fairly smoothly if you follow the doctor’s advice and take your medication as scheduled. Be as active as your doctor suggests, but without overdoing it, and you will soon be back to normal after your orthopedic procedure.