After any kind of orthopaedic surgery – whether it is a minor procedure, such as a repair to a torn tendon, or a major procedure like joint replacement surgery – your surgeon will talk to you about the importance of rehabilitation and good aftercare.
What is “aftercare” and why is it important?
Prior to surgery it is likely that you were experiencing pain, ranging from mild to severe. Your mobility was probably also affected, as was your ability to perform everyday tasks. Over time, your joints may have become stiff and inflexible. If you had some kind of joint deformity which affected your leg length, maybe you learned to walk in a particular way to compensate.
After surgery, your body not only has to heal itself but it also has to adapt to new ways of functioning and moving. In order to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible and be able to enjoy life to the full, we provide comprehensive aftercare and recommendations on how you can help to support yourself at home to make a full recovery.
Immediately after surgery
Immediately after surgery you will be given advice on how to care for your wound and how to perform everyday tasks like washing, as dressings will need to be kept dry. Depending on the procedure you have had, you may need to return to the clinic and have dressings changed or sutures removed.
You may also require painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which will be provided prior to leaving hospital, along with details on how and when to take your medication. You may need walking aids, such as crutches or a walker, to help you get around, or other medical equipment such as a raised toilet seat if you have had hip replacement surgery. All of these will be provided before you go home.
You will also be given details of follow-up appointments with your surgeon to check how are you are healing and monitor your progress.
Physiotherapy is an important part of most rehabilitation programmes. A physiotherapist will be able to recommend exercises that can help you to rebuild muscle strength and restore flexibility and movement to affected areas. Although they can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, it is important to do the exercises that are recommended as they can help to minimise stiffness and regain a full range of motion in your joints.
The physiotherapist will ensure that you are doing the exercises properly to support your recovery and will identify any problems that the surgeon might need to be made aware of.
Throughout your rehabilitation
Before you leave hospital, your surgeon will advise you how long to avoid certain types of activities for, such as driving, sport or anything strenuous. It is important to heed this advice to avoid causing problems while your body is healing. You will be given more detailed follow-up advice during post-surgical appointments.
Sometimes you might just need reassurance that you are healing as expected, or you might have a problem that you want to discuss with your surgeon. We offer friendly, helpful telephone advice throughout your rehabilitation period and are happy to answer any of your questions or just put your mind at rest.
With you every step of the way
The aim of every type of orthopaedic surgery is to help you to recover your health and independence and to be able to live a life that is as free from pain and restriction as possible. We combine the latest surgical techniques with extensive expertise to provide the highest standard of surgery. However, our care doesn’t stop when you leave the hospital and we are also there with you every step of the way throughout your rehabilitation.
You can support yourself to make a swift and full recovery by following our recommendations and making sure you do any exercises that are suggested by your physiotherapist.
Orthopaedic specialists – Nottingham
Our orthopaedic consultants each specialise in a particular area of orthopaedics, giving you added peace of mind that you are receiving expert medical advice and highly tailored treatment. As a group, we place a high focus on aftercare to ensure the very best patient outcomes.
BMI The Park Hospital
Sherwood Lodge Drive Burntstump Country Park, Arnold NG5 8RX
Spire Nottingham Hospital
Tollerton Ln, Tollerton, Nottingham NG12 4GA