Recovering From Orthopedic Surgery

Musculoskeletal issues can affect individuals of all ages, but as the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more individuals over the age of 60 are seeking the services of orthopedic surgeons. How do senior citizens in the Sunshine State know which orthopedic surgeon is the right choice for the hip or knee replacement they need? The Florida Institute of Orthopaedic Surgical Specialists maintains a database, which allows Florida residents to identify specialists by location.

What Are Orthopedic Specialists?

Orthopedic specialists, who are sometimes called orthopods, are physicians who’ve received advanced education in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of medical conditions affecting bones, muscles and joints. When a patient initially complains of an issue that affects the hip, knee, shoulder or some other joint, the orthopod is likely to recommend a conservative medical intervention such as physical therapy. If these nonsurgical treatments fail to work, then the orthopod may propose surgery.

What Are Some Common Orthopedic Surgeries?

Orthopedic surgeries can be performed either as open reductions or by using arthroscopes. Some of the most common procedures include:

• Hip and knee replacements
• Repairs of femoral neck fractures
• Lumbar spinal fusions
• Shoulder arthroscopies
• Carpal tunnel releases
• Repairs of fractures of the radius and femoral shaft

Preparing for Orthopedic Surgery

If you and your orthopedic specialist decide that surgery is your best option, there are things you can do while you are preparing for the surgery that may make your recovery easier. Make sure to stay current with all your surgeon’s requests for X-rays, blood tests and other pre-operative procedures. Try to familiarize yourself as much as you can with the procedure so that you can ask appropriate questions.

If you smoke cigarettes, consider stopping. Nicotine reduces blood flow, and this means it will take you longer to heal if you continue smoking. The longer it takes you to heal, the more likely you are to develop a post-operative infection.

Try to exercise as much as possible before your procedure. You will want to be in good enough shape to be able to perform the physical therapy exercises that will be such an essential part of your recovery process.