How to plan for surgery recovery properly begins before you get on the operating table. After the anesthesia has worn off, you are ready to get back to normal life. It’s going to have a learning curve associated with it. Surgery recovery can be both a scary and confusing process for most, but the best way to make this experience an easier one is by understanding exactly what to expect and knowing how to function in the months and even years following an operation.
Let’s be honest, no two people are exactly alike especially when it comes to pain and how they manage it. A lot of the pain management process can rely on both your attitude towards the treatment plan you and your physician have put in place as well as that aligning with your expectations on the recovery timeline. This is important for knowing how to plan for surgery recovery.
Always remember that you shouldn’t look at pain management as how much discomfort you can handle before you have to tap out and call your doctor, but more about being proactive. Try not to wait until your pain is overwhelming and this could have negative ramifications for physical therapy later. If you can feel this starting to build up, it’s best to pick up the phone and consult with your specialist or be on the safe side by taking a trip to see them. It can seem like an inconvenience at the time, however, this will prevent a situation from getting to the point of an emergency which you want to try and prevent.
Having a complete understanding of your management plan is paramount. Before you leave the hospital, be sure to ask questions regarding your treatment both with and without medication:
In many cases, a caregiver will be required for assistance and for others it makes sense to have this support available in knowing how to plan for surgery recovery. It is quite crucial to ensure that this caregiver is up to speed with your pain management arrangement with the adequate knowledge to aid in your recovery by all means necessary. If you aren’t able to have someone available, don’t be afraid to ask a friendly neighbor or co-worker to check in on you from time to time. This is helpful in preventing an accident or setback from becoming even worse which can prolong the physical therapy process later down the road.
Don’t wait until you get home to realize that after knee surgery it’s going to be almost impossible to venture up the stairs to make it to your study. Before the actual surgery recovery, be proactive and bring all of the things you will need downstairs to an area that will be more easily accessible. This will prevent you from becoming courageous and unwise.
If you even have a slight step in the house that can make everyday life difficult, be sure to add an incline. To help from catching the ground when you’re mobile, pick up some comfortable slippers or flat shoes. Install railings in hallways that are a little more narrow or on the stairs even if you didn’t have an operation specifically on your legs. It is crucial to think out all the situations of everyday life that could inhibit your recovery.
Where will you keep your medications? These need to be accessible, but it is also a good idea to store them in a drawer or cabinet that can be locked and secured as to prevent misuse.
Make sure that you have the proper travel arrangements prepared beforehand. It is important to have a plan in mind of how you will be making it back and forth to the doctor’s office, to daily activities, physical therapy, and even the grocery store. Sometimes it makes sense to stock up with food and supplies before your surgery recovery to limit the unnecessary trips you will need to take.
No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, nonetheless, it is an event where you need to how to plan for surgery recovery and you also need to know what to expect. Again, if you are starting to experience signs that you aren’t recovering or that new symptoms are arising then you need to contact your doctor. There is the possibility that you are following your surgery recovery plan closely and still run into issues.
It is important to watch out for:
There are a lot of advantages for getting enough rest after surgery. It is a common misconception, however, that rest is the only thing required after you leave the hospital. Below are a few helpful tips that will assist in accelerating the rehabilitation process.
Deep Breaths – Laying down for too long can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs. To help prevent pneumonia, try taking deep breaths utilizing your entire diaphragm as well as your abdomen.
Coughing – Coughing is another useful means for preventing pneumonia. This helps to break up any chest secretions that might be developing.
Spirometer – A spirometer is a device used by physicians gauges how your lungs are functioning. It is great for determining how the lungs are utilizing air, the severity of lung disease, and whether the lungs are being restricted.
Move Around Regularly – When you are healthy enough to move around without overwhelming discomfort, do your best to get up and stretch. If you aren’t able to get out of bed, changing positions is a good alternative. Start small with 2 to 3 walks or adjustments and try to build from that.
Foot and Leg Exercises – These movements can help to stimulate circulation to your extremities and there are customized elastic stockings available that also help. Physical therapy will be a place that will help educate you in the proper exercises that accelerate surgery recovery.
It is very important to find the right physical therapist for the surgery recovery process. Be sure to set and stick to a schedule that works best for you. If you’re more of a morning person and have more energy in the AM, then look to see your specialist earlier. The same goes for those that have a more natural stamina towards the afternoon and end of the day.
If you are wanting to know how to plan for recovery surgery and are looking for a physical therapist that you can trust will have your personal health as their highest priority, call Desert Edge Physical Therapy.