Things That Speed Recovery After Orthopedic Surgery

Whether you have undergone a total hip replacement or you had your knee replaced with an artificial implant, your orthopedic surgeon will recommend a number of postoperative interventions to help speed your recovery. It is essential that you follow your physician's recommendations because failure to do so may result in slowed healing. Here are some things orthopedic surgeons may recommend to their patients to help speed recovery time following surgery.

Complete Your Physical Therapy Regimen

Physical therapy plays a vital role in the healing process after orthopedic surgery. While physical therapy can be challenging early on, patients typically get stronger and enjoy decreased pain as time goes by. Physical therapy also helps improve mobility after hip and knee replacement surgery, improves blood flow to the surgical site, enhances balance, and helps corrects an unsteady gait.

Completing your physical therapy regimen as directed by your physician will help ensure that you sail through your recovery. Your doctor may remind you to take your pain medications before starting your physical therapy sessions. When you do, your pain level will be manageable so that you can perform your exercises better and complete your routines without too much discomfort. 

Consume Protein and Vitamin C

Orthopedic surgeons often recommend increasing dietary protein and vitamin C. Both of these essential nutrients help boost immunity, enhance collagen production, and lower the risk for postoperative wound infections following surgery. Lean sources of protein include low-fat yogurt and beans, while citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C.

If you are unable to get your daily recommended allowances for protein and vitamin C through your diet, your doctor may suggest drinking nutrient-dense protein shakes and taking vitamin C supplements. Getting enough protein and vitamin C may also help suppress both local and systemic inflammation, which may be present following surgical procedures. In addition, you may be less likely to develop keloids and scars from your surgical incision if you consume a diet rich in lean protein and vitamin C.

Before consuming large amounts of these nutrients, talk to your doctor, especially if you have kidney disease or digestive problems. Diets high in protein may stress your renal system, while consuming too much vitamin C may exacerbate acid reflux disease or other digestive disorders.

If you are anticipating orthopedic surgery, talk to your doctor about ways to help speed your recovery. Taking steps to hasten postoperative healing will help lower your risk for wound infections and pain.

To learn more, contact an orthopedic surgeon.