surgical recoveryAll orthopaedic surgeries are unique because each person in the operating room has different needs. The providers at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine treat and surgically repair many types of injuries, from fractures to joint replacements to ligament repairs and more. Recovering from surgery can differ as well, depending on the severity of the injury and the health of the patient.

There are some general recovery rules that apply to most orthopaedic surgery patients. Follow these rules for a safer post surgical recovery. Please remember that the returning you to your optimal orthopaedic health does not always mean the fastest recovery.

  • Keep moving. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to move the surgery site, but until then, keep moving the rest of your body. For instance, if you had surgery on your shoulder, make sure you keep your opposite arm and your legs moving. Once it is safe to move your shoulder, do so as often as you are allowed. Safe movement keeps your body limber and more capable of healing itself.
  • Eat healthy foods, especially those with protein in them. Healing bones require protein. If you don’t get enough protein, you are actually putting yourself at risk for a slower recovery. Go for foods that are full of lean protein such as poultry, meat, seafood, and eggs. Vegetarians can eat soy products, quinoa, lentils, beans, artichokes, spinach, and peas.
  • Sleep. Your body uses sleep as a time to heal itself. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Don’t be afraid to nap during the day, and don’t be concerned that falling asleep while a friend is visiting you will bother them. Sleep is oftentimes the most healing time for your body.
  • Wound Care. Make sure you are looking at your wound each day. Keep it clean, and follow the ordered wound care instructions. Contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
  1. Drainage from the incision
  2. Strong odor
  3. Increased swelling, pain, and/or redness in the surgical area
  4. Numbness or a tingling feeling
  5. Fever
  6. Ice the Swelling. Apply ice to the swollen surgical area for 20 minutes and then take it off for 20 minutes. Repeat. Do this process several times a day for reduced swelling and pain.

Ask for Help. Don’t be shy to ask others for assistance. When you are recovering from surgery, you will need help getting in and out of automobiles, bathing yourself, getting in and out of bed or a chair, pulling the shades, getting dressed, and cooking. Remember that once you are fully recovered, you will again be able to help others, just like others are helping you.

Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine wants you to have a full and safe recovery from any procedure you have. We will provide you and your designated caretaker with all necessary post surgical instructions. If you have any questions about your recovery care, don’t hesitate to contact us at (757) 873-1554.