INTERCARE DAY HOSPITAL
Some people are quite nervous about coming into hospital for surgery, others have done this previously and may not give it much thought. Your surgeon has asked us to see you either just prior or after your surgery before you go home and here are some reasons:
Pain and anxiety are common post operatively – some pain is of course normal, however it is not uncommon to have a degree of pain and it does not mean that you cannot do certain things. If you know what to expect and have confidence in the post-operative process your pain and anxiety will be lessened. A physiotherapist will guide you as to your role in the recovery process.
Firstly you may be using crutches after surgery – you will be able to buy a pair from Dischem downstairs before you leave if you do not have your own crutches. Crutches need to be the correct height for you as the wrong height can cause backache if they have not been adjusted correctly – eg if they are too short you may need to bend your back to use them. We will measure this for you and check your walking as the doctor has prescribed – he may only want you to weight bear on one leg or he may allow you to put some weight on the ‘injured’ leg. If you have borrowed or have your own crutches we need to check the ferrule at the bottom (the rubber piece) as this can wear out and if it is not safe and you slip, you may injure yourself. There are safe ways to use crutches to get up and down out of a bed or chair, in and out of a car and to use stairs. These may sound simple things that you do not need help with, but a few tips can make your life much easier and safer.
Muscle strength – muscles get weak very quickly after an injury especially if pain is involved. You may have been suffering from a recent or older injury that has required you to have surgery.
Even in three days muscles can loose a lot of their strength and bulk. Walking and being mobile is not enough to strengthen muscles and we know that unless you do specific exercises as soon as you are able to, your muscles will not regain the strength they had pre-injury or pre-operatively. You may have even had your injury because of a contributing muscle weakness. We will show you exactly how to start the initial rehabilitation as the doctor allows and it is extremely important to not have any delays with this – if you are allowed to do certain exercises as soon as the surgery is over you need to know exactly what to do and how. There should be no confusion.
(Balance: the ability to balance well eg even for walking over a rough surface, decreased rapidly after an injury and needs specific balance training to be regained – walking around on your own will not be sufficient to restore this. Specific exercises will be necessary – but not necessarily immediately)
The doctor may only allow you to do a certain range of movement with the affected joint according to the surgery he has performed so as not to disturb any sensitive/healing tissues in
the initial stages of recovery. This does not mean that you do not move at all as joint capsules can also get stiff very quickly – in a matter of days. You need to have the correct input from the Physiotherapist as to exactly what you are allowed to do so from day one – the same with any activities at home – and you may have questions about this that the Physiotherapist can answer.
Circulation is always important – lying in bed and not moving the body part that is affected (often because of fear of movement) will not help. Calf pumps and other relevant exercises done so as not to overexert the affected limb will prevent post operative circulatory problems.
Consulting with the Physiotherapist about these things before you leave the hospital will make things clear. The consultation is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions about the post op recovery process.Doing too much may interfere with the healing and the surgery done, doing too little will delay the process of recovery as well and may make overall rehabilitation slower, more painful (for example if a joint looses range of movement) and may end up costing you more time and money.
Your recovery is our main priority – please contact our rooms if you have any queries about Physiotherapy.