What Not To Do After an ACL Surgery

The recovery process after a surgery is just, if not, more important than the surgery itself. Especially when it comes to your ACL. The ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a tissue that connects your shinbone to your thighbone at the knee. Ligament tears are most often caused by sudden or quick twisting motions. Most of these take place in sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. Most patients recover in about six to nine months after surgery. While this recovery time may be longer than some, it is important to follow the directions of your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist in order to see the best results coming back from an ACL tear.

What to do before ACL surgery

The time before your ACL surgery can be helpful in easing the process of your recovery. Here are a couple tips to take care of beforehand.

Meet with your recovery team

It’s always beneficial to know who you are working with before you start your recovery. Meeting with your physical therapist and discussing your plan after surgery helps to eliminate any confusion that may arise during your recovery process.

Medical equipment

We always recommend getting any medical equipment necessary for helping you walk, shower, rest, or any other activities you may need to do during your recovery. This way you are not stressed or in a rush to get these materials after your surgery.

What to avoid doing after ACL surgery

The time after ACL surgery is very important for healing, but also to make sure that the injury is not reaggravated or the opposite, not used at all. Here are a few things to avoid doing after ACL surgery in order to see the best results during and after your recovery.


The time after your surgery is important to give your body some rest, but not to completely stay off your legs. During this time, most patients should keep up to date with their physical therapy plan in order to see positive results in their recover. Failure to do so may result in a longer recovery process.

Too much physical activity

While it’s good to move around after your surgery, remember not to over-do it. If you feel uncomfortable doing a physical activity outside of your physical therapy plan, consult your orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist to make sure you are not reaggravating the injury.

Not following bracing or support instructions

Since the early stages of recovery have a large effect on your injury, it is important to follow the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider when it comes bracing or supporting your knee. If you are doing physical activity that requires a brace, remember to have it on to protect your knee. Or, if you are resting after exercising, remember to provide proper support by elevating or even wrapping the injury.

Ignoring complications

Sometimes after ACL surgery, complications such as swelling, or pain can be associated with the recovery process. It is important to monitor these symptoms to notice if they get out of hand. If you noticed your knee swelling for longer periods of time or an increase of pain, make sure to consult with your orthopedic surgeon to figure out the best plan of action.

What to do after ACL surgery

Having a physical therapy plan ready

Physical therapy after an ACL surgery is crucial to seeing positive results after recovery. In order to have the best possible results, meet with your physical therapist before your surgery and develop a plan that fits your schedule.

Elevating/icing your leg

Whenever you are not moving, try to elevate your leg with pillows or blankets. This reduces the swelling in your knee and helps regain knee extension. Icing also helps to reduce swelling. The first days after surgery may be some of the hardest, but it is important to apply these techniques to improve your overall recovery as well as alleviate some pain.

Having good nutrition

Good nutrition is always important. Especially while your body is healing. Maintaining your physical therapy plan while also replenishing your body with essential foods from your diet is critical in a strong and successful recovery.

Keeping it positive

An injury like an ACL tear can be very difficult to overcome, physically and mentally. It’s important to keep a positive mindset throughout your recovery and being aware that some days may be easier than others. Staying in communication with your healthcare providers enables you to be vocal about any frustrations or complications that arise.

An ACL tear can be a gruesome injury and difficult to recover from. Whether you are an athlete or not, this injury can be a tough obstacle to overcome. But following these what to do/ what not to dos are important throughout your recovery.

What to Expect Before and After Rotator Cuff Surgery

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint in place and allow you to rotate your arm and shoulder safely. Injuries to the rotator cuff can occur when these muscles and tendons get irritated or damaged. These injuries can happen suddenly if the muscles are overused or can develop over long periods of time due to repetitive activities. Some indicators of a rotator cuff injury include pain when extending your arm over your head and having a weakness or pain around your shoulder while sleeping. Rotator cuff injuries can be identified through imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs. If you experience these symptoms, then you might be a candidate for rotator cuff surgery.

What to know and expect before rotator cuff surgery

An orthopedic surgeon will recommend rotator cuff surgery for patients after alternatives to surgery like rest and physical therapy have been administered. Some common symptoms for rotator cuff surgery candidates include having the injury for a period longer than six months, having an intense pain that interrupts sleeping or limits daily activities, and having little to no success after trying alternative treatment options.

There are three different types of surgeries that a surgeon could recommend to fix a rotator cuff injury. The first are Arthroscopic repairs in which the surgeon makes a small incision near the rotator cuff and uses a camera to help guide tools to repair the damaged muscles. The second are Open repairs. These repairs are an invasive procedure where the surgeon detaches parts of the shoulder muscle in order to repair the tissue underneath. These repairs are only used in severe injuries. The third is a Mini-open repair which combines techniques of Arthroscopic repairs and Open repairs.

What to prepare before rotator cuff surgery surgery

Preparing for a rotator cuff surgery can involve reducing or stopping certain medications prior to the date of surgery. These can include supplements or over the counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Another way to prep before having rotator cuff surgery is to have a plan with your physical therapy team. Rehabilitation is an important factor in the success of the surgery. So planning and setting the proper regiment beforehand can only produce more successful results. Lastly, making sure that you have the proper care at home after the surgery takes place can be beneficial because daily activities can be limited a few days after surgery.

Every patient and injury is different, so it is important to follow the instructions that your surgeon has laid out for you.

What to know and expect after rotator cuff surgery

After the surgery, it is common for patients to feel pain for a few days depending on which type of surgery they have. Some of the main things to look out for are if there is any numbness, increased pain, or swelling around the operated arm. If so, contact your medical provider to discuss further treatment. It is also important not to overuse or put too much stress on the operated arm. This can lead to undesired results or a reevaluation of the rotator cuff. In most cases, depending on the severity of the injury and which technique of surgery was used, patients can be sent home on the same day of their surgery.

What to do after rotator cuff surgery

Some of the main things to do after a rotator cuff surgery can involve taking medications such as pain relievers to help with some of the pain that you may feel from the surgery. Most patients are also sent home in an arm sling to help immobilize their arm and prevent strenuous movements. It is important to wear this as long as your doctor recommends, which is typically between 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery. Some patients also feel icing the operated arm can help deal with some of the pain they may feel in the following days of the surgery. This shouldn’t be done for more than 20 minutes at a time. While strenuous movements should be limited, it is very important to not completely immobilize your arm. Physical therapy sessions and using the operated arm in daily activities will be essential to having successful results from the surgery. This is the best way to regain the strength and range of motion in your rotator cuff. These exercises generally start small but work up to be more intense as your recovery progresses.

It is important to follow the direction of your physical therapist and doctor. Patients are always vulnerable to re-injuring their rotator cuff after surgery. So it is important to have patience and consult with either your physical therapist or doctor if you feel uncomfortable with your level of progress.

How Long After Rotator Cuff Surgery Can You Drive?

After rotator cuff surgery, you will see an impact on your postoperative daily activities, including driving. Though driving is an essential component of your mobility and autonomy, your surgeon may recommend that you wait several weeks or even a few months before getting behind the wheel again. Following your surgeon’s specific instructions regarding driving and other activities after surgery is important.

Factors To Consider Before Driving Post-surgery:

When considering driving after undergoing major surgery, safety should be the number one priority above all else. Evaluating your pain level, mobility, and range of motion is crucial. You should not be in constant pain when driving. You will not be able to focus and rotating the steering wheel may contribute to more pain if you are not fully recovered from the surgery. You should be able to move your shoulder with little to no pain before you get behind the wheel again. It is also important to avoid driving if you are taking any pain medications that can impair your cognitive functioning, cause dizziness, or even drowsiness.
If you have any doubts or concerns about your ability to drive safely after surgery, it’s best to wait until you have fully recovered and received clearance from your doctor.

Activities to Avoid After Rotator Cuff Surgery:

After rotator cuff surgery, certain activities should be avoided to support proper healing and prevent further injury. Here are some everyday activities that may be limited or restricted after surgery:
Lifting heavy objects: It is recommended to avoid lifting anything heavier than a few pounds with the affected arm for several weeks after surgery.

Reaching above or behind you: Avoid overreaching your arm, which can stress the rotator cuff and delay healing. It is essential to rest your arm at your side post-surgery.

Participating in strenuous activities: High-impact activities such as exercise or sports should be avoided for several weeks to months after surgery.

Driving: As mentioned earlier, it is important to avoid driving until it is safe to do so.

What You Can Do To Support Post-surgery Healing:

There are several things you can do to promote healing while recovering, and there are many factors that can influence recovery time. Here are some recommended tips that may be used as a guide during your recovery.

  • Follow the treatment plan: Your doctor will likely give you specific instructions on how to care for your incision and wound, manage pain, and how to resume physical activity gradually. This can include rest, working on ways to increase the strength in your shoulder, and eventually working your way up to full activity once again.
  • Rest and relax: Your body will need time to heal after surgery, so it’s important to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity that could put stress on your incision. Strenuous activities such as lifting and exercising can lead to a prolonged recovery process. This is why it is important to give your body the time it needs to get back to a sense of normalcy and not to rush the process.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: Your doctor will likely schedule follow-up appointments to check your healing progress. It’s important you attend these appointments and follow any additional instructions given by your doctor. This is the perfect time to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your progress or when it is ok to resume normal activities.
  • Do perform rehabilitative exercises as suggested by a physical therapist. It is likely that you will attend a clinic a few weeks after your surgery to assess your range of motion and continue your treatment plan. It is important to follow the instructions of your physical therapist to ensure that the recovery process goes smoothly. If you rush or avoid exercises, then you may experience a prolonged recovery process or even a reevaluation from your doctor. This is why it is important to follow the direction of your physical therapist and attend all your sessions.

Remember, every recovery is unique, so it is vital to keep all factors considered. After surgery, your body needs time to recover and heal properly. Driving after surgery should not be rushed as it can make your pain worse, or you may find you’re unable to drive safely and effectively. Take your time and consider all these factors before getting behind the wheel again.

What is an Orthopedic Doctor & What Do They Do?

Orthopedic doctors play a crucial role in diagnosing, treating, and providing comprehensive care to patients with issues related to the musculoskeletal system. They specialize in the intricate mechanics of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to bring expertise and precision to enhance mobility and restore health. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of an orthopedic doctor’s practice, including what they see, treat, and how they can help patients.

What is an orthopedic doctor?

Orthopedic doctors are trained to diagnose and evaluate various musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Patients seek their expertise when they experience persistent pain, discomfort, or limitations in their mobility. Orthopedic doctors conduct thorough medical assessments, considering the patient’s medical history, conducting physical examinations, and utilizing advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans. This comprehensive approach aids in identifying the root causes of the patient’s symptoms and facilitates appropriate treatment planning.

Are orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons the same?

In cases where non-surgical approaches are insufficient or ineffective, orthopedic doctors may recommend surgical interventions by an orthopedic surgeon. They are skilled in performing various surgical procedures tailored to specific conditions and injuries. These may include joint replacements, arthroscopic surgeries, spine surgeries, fracture repairs, ligament reconstruction, and tendon repairs. Orthopedic surgeons utilize advanced techniques, such as minimally invasive procedures, to minimize scarring, reduce recovery time, and optimize outcomes.

What do orthopedic doctors do?

Orthopedic doctors employ various treatment modalities to address musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. They tailor their approach to each patient’s specific needs, considering factors such as age, activity level, overall health, and the severity of the condition. Non-surgical treatments may include medication, physical therapy, exercise regimens, lifestyle modifications, and assistive devices or orthotics. These conservative methods aim to alleviate pain, restore function, and improve overall well-being.

Sports medicine is another area that orthopedic doctors often specialize in. They have an in-depth understanding of sports-related injuries and the unique demands placed on the musculoskeletal system. From sprains, strains, and fractures to more complex conditions like ligament tears or cartilage damage, orthopedic doctors play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating these injuries. They aim to provide prompt and effective treatment and help athletes rehabilitate and regain peak performance levels.

Orthopedic doctors emphasize collaborative care and often work alongside physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and other healthcare professionals. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive and integrated treatment plans for patients. By addressing not only the physical aspects but also the psychological and emotional well-being of patients, orthopedic doctors provide holistic care that fosters long-term recovery and improved quality of life.

What is an orthopedic surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in surgical techniques to help treat musculoskeletal problems for their patients. Some of the main procedures they perform include joint replacement surgeries, arthroscopic surgeries, spinal surgeries, fracture repair surgeries, and soft tissue repair surgeries.

What do orthopedic surgeons do?

Orthopedic surgeons are skilled in evaluating and diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions, such as fractures, sprains, strains, and sports injuries. They use various diagnostic techniques, including medical history evaluation, physical examinations, and imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans, to determine the nature and extent of the problem.

In addition to non-surgical treatment options like medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgeons are trained to perform surgical procedures when necessary. These may include joint replacements, arthroscopic surgeries, spinal surgeries, fracture fixation, ligament repair, and other corrective procedures.

Orthopedic surgeons work closely with patients to develop personalized treatment plans based on their specific needs, considering factors like age, activity level, overall health, and the severity of the condition. They aim to alleviate pain, restore function, improve mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life for their patients. While orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled in surgical interventions, they also explore non-surgical approaches before considering surgery. Orthopedic surgeons collaborate with healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, to provide comprehensive care and optimize patient outcomes.

Education & Training for Orthopedic Doctors and Surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons undergo extensive education and training, typically completing four years of medical school after obtaining an undergraduate degree. During this time, they learn about medical procedures and how to diagnose patients properly. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons can get a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or an Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). After medical school, orthopedic doctors and surgeons begin their residency, where they decide what specialty of orthopedics they go into. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons can also receive a Board Certification if they meet the standards and pass the necessary tests.

When should you consult an orthopedic doctor?

You should consider consulting with an orthopedic doctor if you have chronic pain, reduced range of motion, back and neck pain, or sports-related injuries. If you have difficulty performing daily activities due to limited mobility or functionality, an orthopedic doctor can help assess the problem and recommend therapeutic interventions or surgical procedures. Injuries resulting from sports activities or accidents that affect the musculoskeletal system should also prompt a consultation with an orthopedic specialist. Additionally, individuals with arthritis, osteoporosis, or tendonitis should regularly visit an orthopedic doctor to manage their condition and minimize potential complications. Consulting an orthopedic doctor ensures timely diagnosis, effective treatment, and personalized care to help restore mobility, alleviate pain, and enhance overall musculoskeletal health.

How to Recognize a Herniated Disc and What to Do About It?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons the average person will make a doctor’s appointment. Many people are concerned that their back pain could be related to a herniated disc. This is a term that is commonly used, but often misunderstood.

To understand the function and importance of your discs, think of them as cushions between the bones, or vertebrae, of your back. The discs help to stabilize your spine and allow it to move properly. Additionally, the discs help create space for your spinal nerves to exit the spinal column as they continue to their destination (ex: your legs).

The discs in your back are made up of two components:

  1. Annulus fibrosus – a tough, but flexible outer ring
  2. Nucleus pulposus – a soft and jelly-like center

A herniated disc, also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the material in the center of the disc escapes through a crack in the outer ring. This can be caused by simple wear and tear or a sudden injury. This escaped material can press on your spinal nerves, causing pain in the neck and back, often with referred symptoms to the arms or legs.

Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, or lumbar spine, but they can also occur in the neck.

Herniated Disc Symptoms:

  • Back pain or neck pain
  • Pain in the arms or legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
  • Weakness in the arms or legs

Often the most obvious symptoms of a herniated disc are not in the neck or back, but in the extremities connected to the affected nerves. A herniated disc in your lower back may cause the most intense pain in your thigh, calf, and buttocks, whereas a herniated disc in your neck may cause the most intense pain in your arm and shoulder.

If you are experiencing back or neck pain, especially coupled with pain in the arms or legs, this is your body’s way of signaling you that something is not right and it is time to seek medical attention. A herniated disc can be a complicated health matter and must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid complications and chronic pain.

What Will My Doctor Do to Help?

The first step to treating a herniated disc is a definitive diagnosis. Make an appointment with a back pain specialist (ex: chiropractor, pain management physician, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, or orthopedic surgeon). Your doctor will perform a thorough orthopedic and neurological exam along with imaging (x-rays and possibly an MRI) to identify the problem area. If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc, there are 4 stages of increasing severity that your doctor will need to assess as this will help determine what type of care is appropriate.

In the early stages of disc herniation, your condition can likely be helped by chiropractic care. Chiropractors utilize a safe, gentle, and effective form of non-surgical care called spinal manipulation. If you are a candidate for spinal manipulation, treatment can usually begin immediately and will likely involve flexion-distraction.

Flexion-distraction is one of the most beneficial forms of spinal manipulation for a herniated disc. It involves the use of a precision-engineered table. While lying on your stomach the table is set to gently bend at the waist in a specific rhythmic pattern that is based on your condition. All movements are provided and controlled by your chiropractor – not a computer. The bending creates a pumping action that can help the disc return to its normal location and therefore begin the healing process. Your care plan is designed to correct the problem, not mask the symptoms. Multiple sessions, of 10 minutes or less, are required. Coupled with home exercises and ice therapy, this condition can usually be managed well without the need for surgery or medication.

There are rare cases, however, where a patient would not benefit from chiropractic care and non-surgical treatment is not enough to correct the problem. These are usually advanced cases which could include arm or leg weakness or numbness over the gluteal area, difficulty walking or standing, and loss of control of the bowel/bladder. These cases should be considered an emergency and should be seen by a qualified spinal surgeon as soon as possible.

Dr. Vizurraga from TSAOG Orthopaedic & Spine Shares His Joint Replacement Expertise on SA Live

TSAOG proudly announces Dr. Vizurraga’s appearance on the popular news outlet, KSAT12 News SA Live.

San Antonio, TX: TSAOG, a leading spine and orthopedic center in Texas, is pleased to share the appearance of their physician, David E. Vizurraga, M.D., on KSAT12 News SA Live. Dr. Vizurraga is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, certified by The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, specializing in joint replacements. 

Dr. Vizurraga recently appeared on SA Live, sharing his expertise on hip and knee replacement surgeries. In the program, Dr. Vizurraga talks about the intricacies behind knee and hip replacement surgeries and what special instruments are used for the specific procedures. On SA Live, he also shares the importance of the recovery process and what that may entail after surgery, including physical therapy, pain medication, and more. With recent enhancements and improvements to joint replacement surgeries, many patients can expect to be discharged on the same day of surgery or the next day. 

Along with sharing his extensive knowledge of joint replacement procedures, Dr. Vizurraga provided some candid advice on the significance of getting evaluated by a professional if experiencing discouraging, persistent joint pain so that they can receive the necessary treatment for their specific needs.

TSAOG invites new and existing patients to schedule an evaluation appointment if they are experiencing any joint discomfort. David E. Vizurraga, M.D. practices at Ridgewood Orthopaedic Center in San Antonio, The Orthopaedic Institute in San Antonio, and Resolute Retail Plaza in New Braunfels, Texas.

Back Pain Prevention Tips for New Moms

Back pain is a common symptom during pregnancy due to multiple factors, including: weight gain, changes in posture, and sleeping positions. In addition, the changing hormone balance that relaxes the strong ligaments of the pelvis in preparation for childbirth can affect the back.


While back pain during pregnancy is no secret, many women also experience back pain after delivery. Many of the common causes of back pain during pregnancy continue after delivery, but there are also several unique reasons why new mothers experience back pain:

  1. Mothers pick up their babies a lot (dozens or even 50 or more times a day)!
  2. Mothers lift their babies from a bent over position and/or carry them on one side, placing excess and/or uneven strain on the back.
  3. Babies get heavier! Although most average around 7 pounds at birth, babies grow to nearly 20 pounds during the first 6 months.
  4. Some important stabilizing muscles of the back, pelvis, stomach, and thighs (all of which support the spine) are either too tight, too loose, or not in ideal condition after the rigors of pregnancy.

The good news is that most back pain that new Moms experience is temporary and can be relieved with a combination of stretching, exercises, weight loss, good habits, and simple changes in techniques.


The spine is a complex interaction of bones, muscles, tendons, and other tissues. After delivery many of the muscles that stabilize the spine are not in ideal condition. Hip flexors and hamstrings are two sets of powerful thigh muscles that are often too tight after pregnancy. A focused stretching regimen on these muscle groups can have a profound improvement on back pain.
On the other end of the spectrum, the abdominal muscles are often stretched out. These important core-stabilizing muscles, in addition to the large lumbar back muscles, will benefit from a focused strengthening program.
It is important to discuss with your physician when it is safe after delivery to return to exercise. Returning too early can cause more harm than benefit, regardless of method of delivery. Normally women who’ve had a C-section will need to postpone exercise longer. Once you are safe to begin a stretching and strengthening exercise program, a focused recommendation by your physician or physical therapist can provide dramatic improvement in post-partum back pain.


Although weight loss immediately after delivery happens quickly, especially if you are breastfeeding, the rate often slows down over time. Don’t get frustrated! Just as the weight gain from pregnancy increased over many months, it will often take many months to get back to your ideal pre-pregnancy weight. One pound a week of weight loss is a reasonable goal. The good news is that each pound of weight loss vastly decreases the strain placed on the back.


Sometimes it can be hard to remember proper lifting techniques, especially when the baby seems so small, but the way you lift can have a profound effect on your post-partum back pain. Key times to think about this are when taking your baby in and out of the crib, highchair, or car seat. Follow these safe lifting techniques for best results:

  1. Lift your newborn, or anything at ground level for that matter, from a straight on position. Lifting from a twisted or rotated position puts a huge amount of strain on your back.
  2. No straight arms or legs! If your elbows and knees are in a locked position, you are lifting wrong. While lifting, bend your knees to use your strong thigh muscles and bend your elbows to bring baby closer to your core.
  3. Flex your core stomach muscles while lifting, but avoid holding your breath. This gives extra stability to the back during lifting.


Posture plays an important part of preventing or improving back pain for everyone, but is even more important after delivery. Having good firm support for your back while sitting, driving, and nursing are key. While nursing, make sure to bring the baby to you as opposed to bending over to the baby.
You should also avoid carrying the baby on one hip as this can strain the back.


Most back pain after pregnancy is temporary and can be alleviated by following these recommendations. However, you should seek medical attention if your back pain:

  1. Persists longer than several weeks
  2. Radiates from your back to your legs or arms
  3. Involves numbness or weakness in the arms or legs

Additionally, if you notice changes in your bowel or bladder function, fevers, bleeding, or any other concerning symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.

What to Expect Before and After Knee Replacement Surgery

If you and your physician have decided that knee replacement surgery is the best course of treatment for you, some preparation will be involved before your procedure. Preparing for knee replacement surgery can be exciting but also stressful. To alleviate any stress or uncertainty, it is best to go into the process with as much information as possible to make your procedure and recovery go as smoothly as possible. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with knowledge of what to do before and after your surgery to speed you along the path to recovery.

What to Know and Expect Before Knee Replacement Surgery

Approximately 30 days before your surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to outline pre and post-surgery expectations. During this time, your surgeon will conduct a variety of pre-surgery tests and outline necessary steps that should be taken before surgery. You and your surgeon may also discuss the following:

  • Recommend pre-surgery exercises such as stretching and strength training
  • Questions about your procedure and potential health complications
  • Accommodations that will need to be made to your daily routine
  • Surgical treatment plan
  • Recovery time

This will give you an insight into what to expect before your surgery and the steps that should be taken to ensure a successful procedure and recovery.

What to Prepare Before Knee Replacement Surgery

Before surgery, it is essential to plan ahead to ensure you are fully prepared for a smooth recovery. Recovering from a total knee replacement can take approximately 8-12 weeks. This can be a lengthy process and one that is difficult to go through alone. For that reason, it is crucial that before undergoing surgery, a support network is established. Your support network can comprise friends, family, or even a neighbor. This support network should be there to support you and help you before and after surgery. The better prepared you are around the house, the easier it will be for you and your caregiver after surgery.

Below you will find some helpful home preparations recommended one week before surgery:

  • Make clear walking paths free of obstructions.
  • Place important items in an easily accessible area.
  • Ensure cords are tucked away to avoid a tripping hazard.

Along with preparing your home, there are also some products that can aid in your recovery. You may consider buying items such as:

  • A Shoehorn/Sock Aid Device
  • An Elevated Toilet Seat attachment
  • Cane/Walker/Wheelchair (See if your insurance will assist with this)
  • A Reaching or Grabbing Tool

All of these can be used to improve your ability to function around the house after surgery.

What to Know and Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery

Post-operation, your doctor will give you a protocol for caring for your incision and what activities you should and should not do. Something you should be aware of post-surgery is DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT can occur in your lower extremities if you are inactive for prolonged periods and can potentially be life-threatening. To help avoid this do ankle pumps and ask your doctor if compression stockings are appropriate for you to wear.

Physical Therapy will be invaluable in helping you maximize your mobility and strength post-surgery. You can expect the first few visits to therapy to be difficult, but well worth it. Doing your exercises in physical therapy alone will not be enough. It’s highly recommended to practice your home exercises as prescribed to you by your physical therapist. As you progress and gain range of motion, your exercises will shift more towards focusing on strength and balance.

After surgery, you may need crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair to get around. You may not have the same stamina you did before your surgery, so consider this when taking trips or going out into the community. Once you are cleared, walking frequently can help rebuild this stamina.

What To Do After Knee Replacement Surgery

Immediately after surgery, you will not be able to do much with your affected leg. A Quad Squeeze is a simple exercise that can help you in the long run. Simply contract the muscles above your knee and hold for 5-10 seconds, then relax and repeat this a few times throughout the day. Be sure to go to Physical Therapy consistently and minimize the number of sessions you miss. Keep an eye on your incision, and if you notice unusual redness, swelling, or other discoloration, please call your doctor. Finally, ask questions throughout the process; if something seems off, bring it up to your doctor or therapist and let them know your concerns.

If you have any questions about your rotator cuff surgery or recovery process, contact our Joint Replacement Specialists. We can help you plan for the safest and fastest recovery possible.