Going through surgery can be a daunting experience, especially for those who have never had one before. Preparing yourself mentally and physically is essential in getting the best outcome from orthopedic surgery. While your orthopedic surgeon will guide you throughout, you can also ensure you are ready for the procedure.
Here is a guide on proper preparation before your orthopedic surgery, regardless of the type of surgery you’ll be undergoing:
1. Prepare Important Documents
Before your surgery, prepare important documents like your insurance cards and IDs. Your orthopedic surgeon will also need your medical history and a list of your:
- Medications (including supplements, herbs, and the like)
Make sure all this information is gathered and ready. You also want to bring any test results or other imaging scans that were ordered prior to the surgery.
2. Follow a Healthy and Balanced Diet
We understand that it may be tempting to indulge in your comfort foods. However, your orthopedic surgeon will likely recommend eating a healthy and balanced diet.
This will help your body heal faster after the surgery.
Your orthopedic surgeon can recommend some dietary changes to help you prepare for the surgery. Generally, you want to fill your plate with:
- Vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli
- Fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, and berries
- Whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa
- Healthy proteins such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes
3. Exercise and Stretch
Regular exercise and stretching can help improve your physical condition prior to the surgery. This will make your recovery period shorter and more comfortable.
You’ll want to try:
- Low-impact cardio such as swimming, walking, or biking
- Strength training with light weights or resistance bands
- Yoga or Pilates
Be careful not to overexert yourself. Too much exercise can be just as detrimental to your recovery. Overdoing it can also aggravate any existing condition even more.
4. Quit Smoking
It is important to quit smoking before your orthopedic surgery. Not only will it improve your overall health, but it will also reduce your risk of complications during and after the surgery.
5. Limit Alcohol Intake
It is also important to limit your alcohol intake before the surgery. Drinking excessively can interfere with certain medications and slow down the healing process.
6. Arrange for Post Surgery Care
You will need some help for some period of time after your surgery. Arrange for a family member or a friend to help you with daily tasks. You may also need someone to drive you to any follow-up appointments and physical therapy.
Your mobility will be limited after the surgery, even if it’s an outpatient joint replacement. That means you cannot drive, lift heavy items, or do any strenuous activities. Having someone to help you can make the whole recovery process much smoother.
7. Follow Pre-Operative Instructions
Your orthopedic surgeon will provide specific instructions leading up to the surgery. Follow their directions carefully and do not skip anything.
For example, you may be asked to stop eating and drinking starting at midnight the day before your surgery. This helps prevent any complications during the procedure related to anesthesia.
You may also need to forgo certain medications and supplements. In addition, you should:
- Take a shower the day before the surgery to remove bacteria
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes on the day of your surgery
- Remove jewelry or other accessories
Recovery after Orthopedic Surgery
Recovery and rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery are just as important as preparation. Make sure you have a plan for post-operative healing.
Depending on your surgery, you may need:
- Physical therapy to increase range of motion, strength, and mobility
- Occupational therapy to help you return to daily activities
- Weight-bearing exercises to strengthen the joint
Your orthopedic surgeon will help you create a complete recovery plan. You may also need to attend follow-up appointments to ensure your healing is on track.
The Best Orthopedic Surgeon Near You in Raleigh, Apex, & Durham, NC
Preparation is key for any orthopedic surgery. You should eat a healthy diet, exercise, stretch regularly, arrange for post-surgery care, quit smoking, and limit your alcohol consumption. In addition, you must follow all pre-operative instructions to ensure the surgery runs smoothly. Once the surgery is complete, focus on your post-operative rehabilitation program. Also, attend any follow-up appointments to ensure you are recovering properly.
Looking for the best orthopedic surgeon near you in Raleigh, Apex, and Durham? You can rely on EmergeOrtho’s very own board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brett Gilbert. Under our care, you can rest assured you will receive the services you deserve. You may call our friendly staff at (919) 788-8797 so we can better assist you. You can request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.
We look forward to ensuring safe and successful orthopedic surgery for you!