Following arthroscopic knee surgery, you’ll be faced with the recovery and rehabilitation process. This time of healing can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately we’ve got some ideas on how you can maximize your healing. Eight ways, to be precise.
- Be patient: Arthroscopic knee surgery is the least invasive way to repair knee injury or disease, and Dr. Irvine is very good at it. But the recovery process – when your body is rebuilding tissues and strengthening connections – takes time. Be patient.
- Be ready to start rehab immediately: With very few exceptions, you’ll be starting physical therapy within 24 hours of your surgery. In order to get your full range of motion back, you’ve got to move!
- Communicate: Your doctor and others involved in your rehab need to know how your knee is feeling, what hurts and what doesn’t, and how well you’re following the rehab plan.
- Expect a little pain: You’ve heard of “no pain, no gain” right? Recovery following knee surgery is no different. We think you’ll be surprised at how little pain you have, and will provide you with pain medication to help.
- Don’t suffer: Having a little pain while you’re following the exercise plan outlined for you is normal. But if your pain feels unmanageable, speak up! Although pain can be a normal part of the healing process, when pain is extreme it can signal complications or infection.
- Don’t push ahead of your rehab plan: Depending on your pre-surgery activity level and the condition or injury that made surgery necessary, you may think that pushing harder will make your healing progress faster. This is rarely accurate. Your rehab plan is carefully designed to maximize your healing without creating any additional injury.
- Expect peaks and valleys: Your rehabilitation progress won’t be a straight line. Expect peaks and valleys as your body heals. This will help you manage a tough day or when you feel like you’re not seeing the progress you’d like.
- Pay attention to your mental health: Moments of frustration and even depression are perfectly normal. Denny Hamlin, NASCAR racer, talked about this recently following a repeat knee surgery. “That’s the biggest hurdle mentally that we fight through all this is not being able to do some of these activities [golfing and running] that we use to…” during the rehab process.
Knowing what to expect, following your rehab plan, and communicating through the process will go a long way to maximizing your recovery and rehabilitation following knee surgery. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have, and we’ll stay with you until you’re fully recovered.