Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are among the most common injuries, especially for athletes. One study found an ACL injury rate of 6.5 per 100,000 athletic encounters.1 If you injure your ACL and have to have surgery, you’ll want to get your life back as fast as possible. To do that, you want to ensure you have a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
The opioid crisis is a hot topic in both mainstream and pain management news, which is not surprising considering the dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths in recent years. One study published in the JAMA Network Open found that U.S. deaths attributable to opioids increased 292 percent between 2001 and 2016.1 This same study reported that in 2016, 20 percent of the deaths of adults ages 24-35 involved opioids.
Growing awareness of the opioid crisis has prompted medical professionals to generate potential solutions, primarily by coming up with alternatives for pain management. These four stories highlight the various ways the medical industry is responding to the crisis through innovation, cooperation, and new policies.Read More >
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?
Six Ways to Make Back Surgery Recovery Easier
The more prepared you are, the smoother your recovery will be. Follow these tips to help you get ready before your back surgery:
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?
Cryotherapy – also called cold therapy – has been used for many years to treat the aftereffects of a soft tissue musculoskeletal injury. If you’ve ever twisted your ankle or had to do post-op rehabilitation for a knee ligament repair, you may have been advised to follow the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) regimen. Traditional ice application methods typically include use of an ice bucket (doesn’t work on many joint injuries, such as the back or hip), wrapping the injury with a plastic bag filled with crushed ice, or using an ace wrap over the ice-filled bag to try and provide some compression along with the cryotherapy. These methods are inconvenient, messy, irritating and hard to stick with over time. And when you don’t stay with a regimen of cryotherapy and compression, you recover more slowly from your sports injury.