Post orthopaedic surgery recovery in athletes
Sports injuries are one of the most common problems that athletes encounter and proper treatment is essential if they want to continue their careers and stay healthy. There are many recommended treatments for them, varying from rest and physiotherapy, in the case of minor injuries, to orthopaedic surgery, in the case of serious ones. Top orthopaedic surgeons in Sydney recommend this procedure for patients who cannot regain their mobility or eliminate pain by non-invasive means. Many athletes have second thoughts about surgery and postpone it as much as possible, because they imagine that it will involve long recovery times and even put an end to their career. Here are some common myths about recovery and several questions that you should ask your doctor.© Sport the library/Tom Putt Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Athletics - Patricia Flavel (AUS) at finish line
First of all, if a professional, well-trained doctor says that surgery is the only viable solution, then trust them. Naturopaths may suggest alternative, non-invasive methods that sound friendlier, but they usually only work for minor injuries. If you break your knee and need to have it replaced, then resting in bed and applying cold ice packs will not bring any improvement. Secondly, the recovery process involves two steps: first, there is recovery immediately after surgery, which is obligatory and involves a lot of rest. You might experience a bit of pain and not be allowed to do regular activities, such as drive, have intercourse, lift things or run. Then, there is long-term recovery, which may last more or less, depending on what caused your condition. Unless your injury was particularly severe, you are likely to continue your training. Only few conditions put an end to athletes’ careers. However, you will have to go into post-operatory care and even take action for pain management.
It would be unrealistic to expect immediate results. Your orthopaedist may advice you to take things slow and adjust your training gradually, until your body has the same mobility as before the injury. Re-adjustment can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on how serious the injury and the surgery were. Please note that age is an important criteria and younger athletes are more likely to resume activity faster than older ones. Ask your surgeon about recovery before it starts and talk to a professional about re-adjusting to your old routine. You should take neither too easy, nor too hard. It all depends on how your body is able to heal itself, which is why you should work closely with a trainer who has medical experience on similar cases. Last, but not least, having surgery does not necessarily mean you will have to put an end to your career. In the unfortunate cases when athletes are no longer able to exercise, it is because the injury was too severe or because the orthopaedic surgeon was not properly trained. As long as you are treated by a professional, you shouldn’t expect negative results. Even though having surgery sounds scarier than resting in bed or going to physiotherapy sessions, you should not hesitate to undergo it if it is the only way to recover.