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Information On Recovering After Orthopedic Surgery

Information On Recovering After Orthopedic Surgery Posted on June 30, 2015

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), there are 28,047 orthopedic surgeons listed with the organization as performing orthopedic surgery. Of this number fifty four percent are specialists, working with a specific type of injury or focusing in on specific surgical and non-surgical procedures.

The most common types of orthopedic surgery specialized practices include knee surgeries, arthroscopy, and sports medicine injury treatment. These are followed closely by shoulder, hip, hand and adults spinal treatment specializations.

Depending on the type of orthopedic surgery completed, recovery recommendations will be slightly different. A top doctor and top facility will ensure every patient is educated about the duration of recovery and limitations to their daily lives well in advance of the surgery. This gives the patient time to make the necessary accommodations in their home and to bring in help to ensure they have the rest and limited activity required during recovery.

Caring for the Area

It is important to monitor the area of the incision carefully after orthopedic surgery. Clean the wound and apply dressings as recommended in the written instructions provided by your doctor.

Generally there may be some slight draining around the incision, but this should be clear and painless. Any swelling, signs of infection, thick or puss-like discharge or severe pain in the area of the procedure should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible. Call immediately and speak to your orthopedic surgeon if you have any concerns.


With most types of orthopedic surgery, especially on knees or other joints, ice can be used for brief periods of time to help control both minor pain and swelling. Never apply the ice directly to the area, but frozen ice packs, gel packs, or ice cubes in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel can be very effective.

Follow Instructions for Activity

Depending on the type of orthopedic surgery, there may be specific exercises to complete and specific types of movements to avoid immediately after the surgery and even for the rest of your life.

Carefully follow these instructions and, above all else, do not exceed the recommendations for activity during your recovery time. The biggest complications after orthopedic surgery occur when patients fail to follow the recovery protocols and cause additional damage to the joint or structure, resulting in the need for extended recovery time or even additional surgical procedures.

At Suburban Orthopaedics, our doctors will carefully discuss all aspects of your orthopedic surgery, including recovery, prior to your procedure. To learn more visit us at or follow us on Twitter.

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