How Long Does It Take to Recover from Orthopedic Surgery?

February 28th, 2023 Becki Andrus
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Orthopedic Surgery?

Preparing for orthopedic surgery can make a person nervous and hopeful at the same time. You are optimistic about the potential results and improvements that can come from surgical interventions. At the same time, there are often questions about the recovery process.

If you have an injury or chronic health issues affecting your function and movement, orthopedic surgery might be the key to restoring your health. Rest assured, knowing that the surgeon will plan the ideal treatment to address your unique needs, as well as recommendations to speed up your healing time and optimize overall results during recovery.

In addition to the surgical treatment, it’s just as important to ensure that you are diligent about implementing rehabilitation and care to support your healing. It takes time and effort to recover after surgery, but it will be worth the inconvenience because of the long-term results you can achieve.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Orthopedic Surgery?

Remember that it is going to take time to recover from orthopedic surgery. Many patients are anxious to return to normal lifestyles as quickly as possible. But it’s critical that you follow the doctor’s recommendations to ensure proper healing.

Depending on the type of surgery you need, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to recover from orthopedic surgery.

The initial days and weeks after surgery often require immobilization and limited activities. But as your body heals, you can return to normal activities once again. Always follow the doctor’s recommendations because certain things might slow your progress if you aren’t careful about this healing time.

Initially, you will likely be dealing with pain, swelling, and inflammation. As these post-operative symptoms start to subside, your recovery treatment can change to include treatments that help you move again and restore normal function.

What Is Involved in Post-Surgery Recovery?

Each patient receives unique recommendations for their recovery plan, depending on the type of surgery and personalized concerns. Common recommendations during rehabilitation include services from medical experts and at-home methods to support the healing process.

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Stretching and strength training
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Pain management medications
  • Other medications to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of infection
  • Time off work and daily activities
  • Wound care

The more diligent you are in following the surgeon’s recommendations, the faster you can return to normal activities in the coming weeks and months. It’s critical that you respect this recovery period to allow your body time to heal. Returning to certain activities too soon could potentially harm your progress because of the damage or stress that occurs to the surgical site.

Recommendations for Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

Always plan time for recovery after orthopedic surgery. Your doctor will recommend how many days, weeks, or months you will need during this recovery time.

While there are unique recommendations depending on the type of surgery you need, general suggestions apply to all types of surgery.

Have Patience During Your Recovery

Even though you are anxious to return to your normal activities as quickly as possible, it’s essential that you are patient with yourself during this recovery time. Be kind to yourself and remember that time is one of the most important factors in supporting your healing.

Recovery won’t happen overnight. Healing takes time, and you need to respect your body and allow the natural healing processes to take place. A positive attitude about this process will help you maintain consistency in implementing the recommended practices during your recovery.

Talk to the surgeon before the treatment to understand realistic expectations for your recovery period. This conversation will help you know what to expect so you can maintain the right mindset, including realistic expectations for the recovery timeframe and specific treatments to assist with this healing period.

There’s no question that surgery is a major, life-changing procedure. Not only will this treatment affect your life, but it also has an impact on the lives of your family and friends. Loved ones can step in to assist during this treatment time.

Additionally, your recovery ensures that you can return to your family and career responsibilities after the surgery. Our team at Orthopedic Associates prioritizes your overall health, helping you return to an optimal way of living as quickly as possible.

Long-Term Perspective for Optimal Recovery

Not only are we helping you with a fast and effective recovery, but we also want to be sure that you achieve the best possible results in the future.

The small recovery steps you take right now can impact the long-term results you can achieve in the future.

If immobilization is recommended after surgery, avoiding activities that could overwork this part of the body is essential. For example, if you have knee surgery and the doctor recommends no weight on that leg for the first few weeks, then be diligent about using crutches. Wait to walk on the leg until you have consulted with the surgeon, and they have determined that sufficient healing has occurred.

What to Expect After Different Types of Orthopedic Surgeries

Post-recovery recommendations will vary depending on the type of surgery and the area of the body that is treated. Small surgeries might only require a few days of downtime. But major treatments will need several weeks or months to ensure proper healing.

  • Knee Surgery: Often, knee surgery is required after a sports accident or to fix wear-and-tear in the joint. If you have a partial or complete tear in the knee ligaments, you will likely need 6 – 8 months for recovery.
  • Bone Fractures: Depending on the severity of the break, you will likely need six to eight weeks for upper limb recovery or as long as 12 weeks for lower limb recovery.
  • Spinal Surgery: The most common type of spinal surgery is to address nerve pain or alignment of the spinal column. Often, months of recovery are required, especially for more invasive types of spinal surgery. For example, you might need 12 – 18 weeks for your recovery time, depending on the complexity of the surgery.

Each situation is unique, and your doctor can offer recommendations to support your healing period. The best thing you can do is follow these suggestions to ensure your injured area recovers as quickly and effectively as possible.

Consult with an Orthopedic Surgeon

Do you need orthopedic treatment? Then it’s time to schedule a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. Not only does our team at Orthopedic Associates offer surgical interventions, but we also have many other minimally-invasive treatment options.

Our full-service approach prioritizes non-surgical treatments whenever possible. Additionally, we use the latest techniques to ensure a fast recovery when surgery is necessary. We can treat everything from sports injuries to chronic pain and more. Call today to book an appointment: (972) 420-1776.


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