In Need Of Orthopedic Surgery? Here’s How To Properly Prepare

May 22, 2024

By HWM Partnership

Surgery of any kind can be a frightening prospect, made even worse when you are in the dark about what you must do to prepare yourself for the ordeal.

While you have probably received a detailed set of instructions from the doctor/surgeon who will perform the procedure, there are lots of other things you can do to assuage some of your fears and ensure your body is ready. This post will focus on a few of the more pertinent tips that will apply in almost all cases (you may find that some don’t apply to you if you’re having a particular operation). In order to prevent any unanticipated complications, it is imperative that you consult with your primary care physician thoroughly before implementing any of these suggestions.

Understand The Procedure And Expectations

Orthopedic surgery is no minor surgery; it can be a highly invasive procedure that involves a large team of surgeons operating on you simultaneously, along with the requisite recovery times that could make the overall time you are immobile a lot longer than you anticipate. These orthopedic surgeons in Atlanta note many reasons for requiring this kind of surgery, ranging from ACL to cervical disc replacement, each involving different procedures and having different recovery times. Consequently, you need to prepare your mind and take time to speak with your doctor regarding your specific operation and what you hope to get from it. In the case of a rotator cuff injury that necessitates surgery, for instance, you may be curious about the process and estimated recovery time to resume your athletic activities. The key is to spend a decent amount of time learning about the operation you will be involved in and if or when you will regain some semblance of your previous life once more. 

Practice Relaxation Techniques Beforehand

The weeks running up to your surgery will probably involve a feeling of fear and dread. It’s not often that one undergoes any type of surgery, so it’s common to feel this way. In order to allay these fears, you could practice some relaxation techniques to help you clear your mind of such thoughts and instead fill it with a feeling of tranquility. A wide variety of choices are available to you in this regard, with perhaps meditation and mindfulness being the best open to you. Check online the different ways you can meditate and choose one that helps you feel much calmer about your situation. As you continue to practice, you will gradually become more at ease until the day of your surgery comes, and you are prepared to face anything that comes your way.

Gather All Necessary Medical Documents

There is no way any medical procedure will take place if the hospital doesn’t know your previous medical history. Without this information, they risk using medication that could interact with your body in unforeseen ways, as well as simply being unable to remedy the issue properly. Fortunately, this is probably the most straightforward action you can take since most doctors will already have a detailed record. In most cases, you can simply get your personal doctor to liaise with the hospital performing the surgery, which is really the best course of action. Your doctor will be far better positioned to proffer your vital details in an understandable way to the other medical team. If this is not possible for whatever reason, you may need to be a bit more proactive and request your complete medical history yourself. Once you have it, you can send it over for them to analyze and come up with a much fuller idea on how to proceed.

Arrange For Transportation And Post-Surgery Care

It should go without saying, but most orthopedic operations will involve pretty invasive surgery, meaning that you will likely be unable to transport yourself to and from the hospital. Some surgeries will be completed in a single day, allowing you to go home that day, while others might require you to remain as an inpatient until your doctor deems you able to go home. Regardless of your circumstances, it makes sense to arrange for someone to bring you in and pick you up when the time comes. If you don’t have anyone, you will need to use an Uber or something similar, but if you can find someone, it is usually best. You should check with the hospital to see if they offer transportation services; if so, you should plan accordingly. Nevertheless, if you have a friend or family member to bring you in, you can discuss things with them during the trip, making the entire journey a little less daunting. 

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Stock Up On Necessary Supplies

Depending on the type of surgery you undergo, it might be prudent to get your prepper hat on and stock up on as many essential goods as you can fit in your home. This includes both perishable and non-perishable items, such as food, medications, and anything else necessary for your situation. You may be immobile for some time, so having all of your goods in one place and ready to use will make things much more manageable. This step is worthwhile even if you have someone to look after you post-surgery, as you won’t need to think about anything else aside from your recovery. 

Make Necessary Home Modifications

Modifying your home may or may not be required, but if you believe it will be, you must prepare it well in advance of the operation. It is not helpful to return home to a disorganized house full of potential trip hazards and other risks that could delay your recovery in the event of an accident. If your surgery is major, you might need to install things like handrails around the place to facilitate movement around your home and possibly rails in your bathroom so you can wash without fear of slipping. Hopefully, these modifications won’t be permanent, but it is always better to be prepared than otherwise.

Prepare Meals And Freeze Them

Nourishment is the bedrock of a sound recovery. Your body needs vital vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc., to help it heal itself and provide you with the energy to move around to further facilitate recovery. But what if you live alone and are unable to cook for the first week or so? Well, get cooking before your operation and freeze each meal you think you will need for the period of time the healing process is estimated to take. This means that all you need to do is take the meal from the freezer, pop it in the oven or microwave, and fill up your body and soul with the good stuff it needs to get better.

It is perfectly normal to feel uneasy about an upcoming surgery, but these ideas can help you put your mind at ease and prepare for the days and weeks afterward. As long as you put in the effort to get ready, the payoff will be a faster recovery and less stress.

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