There are many reasons to have surgery. Some surgeries are life-saving, others are looking to help diagnose a medical problem or repair a painful condition. Whatever the reason for your surgery, your post-operative care is designed to help you to restore your strength, activity level, and range of motion following your surgery.
5 Tips To Aid Your Post-Op Rehab
1. Always Follow Instructions
While this appears deceptively simple, following instructions is the key to good post-operative rehabilitation. If your doctor orders physical therapy for you, be sure to do it! Your physical therapist can teach you exercises, stretches, and techniques to aid your post-operative rehabilitation. Taking a shortcut on your rehab could cause later problems such as tearing, infection, or excessive bleeding.
2. Eat Your Way To Recovery And Stay Hydrated
After surgery it is important you eat a healthy diet to promote healing. Some foods help ward off fatigue and help your body to recovery. Stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks.
3. Move! Increase Your Circulation
Rest for the first 24 hours, after surgery then slowly get back into your normal daily activities. Movement is part of your post-operative rehab and can help prevent complications, like pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis. A short walk helps decrease the risk of complications and complements your physical therapy. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy, fatigued or nauseous.
4. Listen To Your Body And Rest
A week or so following surgery your mind may be telling you to get back to your 'normal' life. Your body is in trauma mode for 6 weeks after a surgery. Don’t overdo your physical therapy. Listen to your body. Sleep if you're tired and eat if you’re hungry.
5. Ask For Help
Keeping post-operative pain tolerable is important. Too much pain can increase your risk of developing a blood clot or pneumonia. If you are in pain, don’t be afraid to ask for help with pain management before your pain gets too severe. If you are scheduled for surgery, you owe it to yourself to learn about all of your post-operative rehabilitation options.