What are the non-surgical treatment options?
Likely, the first thing anyone should do after an injury is utilize the RICE approach (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Resting limits your susceptibility to further injury and allows the body to conduct its natural healing process and ice, compression and elevation all work to reduce swelling, which can cause pain and infection. Other non-surgical options include pain reducing or anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. These nonsurgical options will be used, if at all possible, to limit your exposure to potential risks.
When can I return to daily activities?
The recovery period for different surgeries can vary from hours to months. If the patient is healthy and takes the right steps before and after surgery, they can limit the risk for complications and promote the body’s natural healing process. That being said, many surgeries will require at least a 24 to 48 hour period of minimal activity, if not bed rest. From there, you will regularly follow up with your surgeon to monitor your progress and discuss the best rehabilitative approach to take to get you back to your normal daily routines as soon as possible.
Will physical therapy be required after surgery?
For fractures, dislocations, sprains and tears, it is highly advised, if not required, to undergo physical therapy to not only promote fast healing but ensure that the body is fully recovered from any joint or soft-tissue injuries. While this may seem inconvenient, patients will appreciate the assistance that physical therapists provide both physically and mentally while recovering from a serious surgery.
What can happen if surgery is avoided?
In certain cases, patients may choose to opt-out of surgery and let their bodies heal naturally. Through diagnostics scans and tests, surgeons will have a complete understanding of the patient’s condition and how it can progress. If surgery is recommended, it is very likely that the patient’s condition will worsen, or at least be highly susceptible to further deterioration.
For certain injuries, the body may have to overcompensate to provide stability and balance. This can lead to additional injuries and deformities over time. Injuries like fractures may heal improperly, or incompletely without the assistance of surgery. In the case of a spine injury, deterioration or unrelieved pressure on the spine can lead to progressive pain, weakness and paralysis.
What are the risks associated with surgery?
Any surgery carries a certain degree of risk, though diagnostic scans and choosing the right surgical team can limit the potential for post-operative complications. Potential risk factors include:
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
What are the most common injuries?
Injury rates vary from person to person depending on age and lifestyle. For athletes, sprains and strains are highly common. In elderly patients, degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and slip and fall injuries are quite common.