As a medical professional, you know that care doesn’t stop after surgery. In addition to the appropriate prescriptions, post-operative patients need clear directions for safely recovering, staying comfortable, and returning to normal activity.Read More >
The shoulder is one of the most complicated parts of your body and has the greatest range of motion out of all your joints. It’s a complex arrangement of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It allows you to perform daily tasks like brushing your teeth, reaching for something on a shelf, and shooting hoops. Athletes are often more susceptible shoulder injuries, however, it can happen to anyone. In the event of a more serious injury, surgery is often required to repair the damaged tissue. Shoulder injuries that commonly require surgery include:Read More >
From outpatient arthroscopic ACL repair to full knee replacement, there are several types of knee surgeries that cover a range of severity and complexity. In some cases a patient might be home in the same day, and in others they might stay in the hospital for several days. However, regardless of the type of knee surgery, preparation for the recovery process is largely the same.
The shoulder joint is one of the most complicated components of the skeletal system, and with the ability to move in multiple directions, shoulders play an important role in everyday life. Whether you are swinging a baseball bat or reaching overhead to take something out of a cabinet, all of the muscles and connective tissues in your shoulders work together to make a smooth motion.
Immobilizing your knee or controlling the angle at which it is allowed to bend will help provide support and stability in the joint. This stability gives your damaged tissues the opportunity to heal while you continue to rest and do rehabilitative exercises as directed.
4 Knee Solutions for Post-Op Knee SurgeryDepending on where you are in the surgery recovery process, your doctor or physical therapist might recommend one of the following types of knee recovery solutions:
- Cold and compression wrap - As the tissues in your knee start to heal, cold and compression therapy can help contribute to a speedy recovery. A patented wrap with simultaneous active compression and consistent cold encircles the entire area around your knee. This allows therapeutic cold to penetrate more deeply than ice alone, while active compression brings fresh blood and pumps away cellular waste.
- Post-op knee brace - For a brief period of time after your surgery you will have to immobilize your knee to give the damaged tissues the best opportunity to heal. A post-op knee brace provides this level of support while still allowing you to be mobile.
- Hinged knee brace - After the initial healing process you can switch to a hinged knee brace that provides support while allowing you to bend the joint over a limited range of angles. These types of braces can be worn as you start to introduce higher impact activities.
- Articulated knee wrap - An articulated knee wrap that combines cold and compression will allow you to do rehabilitative exercises on a treadmill or stationary bicycle to help minimize pain and swelling caused by activity after surgery.
As always, follow your doctor's instructions with respect to medication, rest, exercise, and other activities. Being active throughout the knee surgery recovery process is not only possible, it is encouraged. Using the appropriate type of knee brace throughout the healing process will allow you to be active and mobile while protecting your knee joint and ensuring stability.
Game Ready offers cold and compression wraps to help you reduce pain and swelling either while immobilizing the joint or performing rehabilitative exercises. We also provide post-op knee braces for stability and post-op recovery. Find a provider near you to learn more.
What type of knee brace did you wear after knee surgery?
So what do you need to be safe and comfortable for post-op knee surgery?
6 Things You Need After Knee Surgery
- Rest - After knee surgery you need to rest both your knee and your body. Limiting activity and getting ample sleep will allow your body to dedicate as much energy as possible to repairing itself. This is especially important in the first several days after surgery. If necessary, change your schedule to accommodate less activity.
- Healthy food - Your body will need all the valuable nutrients it can get during the recovery process. Focus on good nutrition with balanced meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Pain medication - Your doctor will likely prescribe some pain medication, especially for the initial stages of post-op knee surgery. Maintain an open line of communication to ensure that you get the right types and amounts of medication during this time.
- Cold compression therapy - Active cold and compression combine two important therapies for faster healing. This type of therapy can also reduce pain and swelling immediately after knee surgery, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your options before you go in for surgery.
- Physical therapy - Although you need to get ample rest, you must also participate in a physical therapy program that will help you regain full range of motion. Your physical therapist will also prescribe exercises that will help rebuild stability, strength, and flexibility.
- Knee brace - Post-op knee braces are designed to completely immobilize the joint after surgery. After the initial healing phase, you can wear a brace that allows more mobility. Your doctor and physical therapist can help you decide which type of brace is right for you.
Of course, you might also want to plan for some entertainment in the first few weeks after surgery while you need to rest your knee as much as possible. You should also think about how your house is laid out and make any necessary provisions. For example, consider temporarily living on only the first level of your home to avoid stairs as much as possible.
Work with your doctor and physical therapist to ensure that you have everything you need before your knee surgery. Pick up any prescriptions you will need, select a knee brace that fits, and make sure you have a cold and compression system reserved for your physical therapy sessions. You can also rent a system to keep at home during your recovery. Find a Game Ready provider near you to get started.
What else might you need for post-op knee surgery?
There are many activities you should try to do during MCL surgery recovery. For example, getting plenty of rest, using cold and compression therapy, and following the recommendations from your physical therapist. However, there are also several that you should avoid if you want to ensure the fastest recovery possible.
One of the most common side effects after ACL or MCL surgery is swelling. This is a result of your body's natural reaction to trauma and is an essential component of the inflammatory response. Inflammation actually helps your body heal, but too much swelling can be uncomfortable and impede the recovery process.
These simple steps can make the back surgery recovery process go much more smoothly.
Four Tips to Improve Back Surgery Recovery
- Manage pain with medication - A certain amount of pain is inevitable with any type of surgery. Talk to your physician about how they intend to help you manage pain and what types of medications you can expect to be taking. They might prescribe narcotics, NSAIDs, or other pain management medications immediately following the surgery. The medications you should take will depend on the type of surgery you have, so be sure to ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
- Get plenty of sleep - The more you can rest comfortably, the faster your body will heal. Ask your physician or physical therapist what sleeping positions they recommend to help reduce strain on your back.
- Participate in your rehabilitation - Although it is important to rest, it is equally important to be active throughout the rehabilitation process. Your physical therapist might recommend gentle stretches or certain movements to help increase circulation and regain muscle strength. Every patient is different, so make sure you work closely with a healthcare professional to develop your rehabilitation plan.
- Use active compression and cold therapy to reduce pain - Compression and cold therapy have been used for centuries to help speed up the healing process for injuries of all types. This can be a little more challenging with back surgery recovery because of the nature and location of the injury. However, using a specially designed cryotherapy wrap that circulates cold water and air will provide simultaneous cold therapy and active compression. Cold therapy can be used immediately after surgery and on an ongoing basis after activities that might induce swelling.
If you are facing back recovery surgery, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about Game Ready's patented dual-action Active Temperature Exchange back wraps. The combination of active compression and cold therapy is proven to provide longer-lasting, deeper cooling to help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.
The results speak for themselves. More than 94% of patients who used Game Ready said that their post-operative recovery was better than with other types of cold therapy. Want to learn more? Contact us today to speak with a representative.
What steps have you taken to help improve back surgery recovery?