Recovering From Total Joint Replacement

Immediately after your total joint replacement surgery, you will be moved into a recovery room to be monitored for a couple of hours. After the anaesthesia has worn off and you are awake, you will then be moved to your ward where you will stay for the next few days. A typical stay in the hospital will be between 3 to 5 days depending on your progress. Before the effects of the anaesthesia have fully worn off, you should consume pain killers to prevent a sudden onset of unbearable pain. So how do you recover from total joint replacement surgery?

Physical therapy

Muscle atrophy is the result of depriving muscles activities, leading to muscle wastage. This can happen after a couple of days post surgery, leading to shrinking of muscles and muscular apoptosis. In order to prevent this, physical therapy will be required. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the hip joints through various small but effective exercises. It usually begins almost immediately after surgery in order to prevent scar tissues from forming. A physical therapist will be there to teach you some basic exercises to help you regain strength and full hip movement in the shortest time. It continues even when you have been discharged, and you will be required to show up for your physical therapy classes up to 4 times a week.

Understand possible medical complications

Hip replacement surgery has a low risk and infections are at a low rate of 2%. However, this does not mean that you are completely clear of any complications. Blood clots in the leg veins can occur due to prolonged immobility, leading to serious consequences if they travel up to the heart or brain. Therefore, some surgeons will recommend the usage of compressive stockings.

Do not be complacent

As time passes, the hip will be stronger and the usage of walking aids such as crutches or walkers will no longer be required. Some patients will tend to get complacent and start to skip physical therapy sessions or ignore symptoms which may indicate infection. Therefore, always be mindful of your responsibilities as a patient and continue your physical therapy sessions until your therapist has given you the all clear.

Your new hip will be able to last you for at least a decade and provide you with freedom you never imagined. However, you still need to know that it is an artificial joint inside you and materials can fail due to various reasons and a second surgery may be required in future.

How Do I Know If I Need Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement is considered a major surgery and there are many factors to consider first before making a decision. It is a question that cannot be answered easily. Rather, it requires you and your orthopaedic surgeon to sit down and ponder through all the possible options available to you before deciding on it. What exactly is knee replacement surgery? How do you know if you require knee replacement surgery?

Oral medications do not work

Your doctor will usually prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium to help make the pain more bearable and reduce inflammation. However, these drugs are only able to help counteract the pain to a certain extent and they do not treat your knee condition. You should not be consuming drugs for the rest of your life as they might harm your body. After a certain time span and it has no effect, surgery will be required.

Physical therapy has little effect

Oral medication will often be accompanied by physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy helps to build up the muscles around the knee, strengthening them so that they can better support your knee. It also helps to make the knee joint much more flexible and restore joint mobility. However, when this still does not help, surgery will be required.

Daily activities are limited

When simple daily activities are severely limited due to knee pain, surgery may be the only option left. You do not want your quality of life to be affected by your knee and there is always the option of knee replacement surgery. Some patients may not even be able to sleep as the pain will keep them up throughout the night. For others, simple actions such as walking may also be a chore.

You wish to engage in competitive sports

This is the most common reason for total knee replacement surgery. Athletes who wish to continue engaging in competitive sports will definitely require surgery to replace the damaged joints with artificial biomaterials in order to regain near full strength and mobility.

There are many reasons for one to undergo knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery is a major surgery and requires one to consider many factors before deciding on it. It does not come cheap and for most patients, physical therapy and medication will usually suffice. If you are seeking a return to sports, knee surgery may be the only viable option for you.

3 Reasons Why Physical Therapy is Important to a Sports Injury Recovery

Swelling, pain and loss of motion are common complaints following a sports injury. In order to regain post-injury levels, movement is extremely important. The experts in body movements are physical therapists who are trained to conduct specific exercises and stretches meant for aiding recovery to a specific part of the body. So, what are some reasons why physical therapy is important to a sports injury recovery?

Identification of deficiencies

Physical therapists are the ones who conduct each physical therapy session and they are trained to indentify deficiencies in the biomechanics of our body. Just by looking at how to body work will help them to know which part needs help. Therapists are also able to prescribe exercises which are helpful post surgery and help to ensure a fast recovery.

Increase range of motion

Post injury or surgery, the range of motion in that particular joint is extremely limited due to swelling and scarring. There will also be severe pain and the lack of ability to fully use the joint. As a result, exercises are required to be performed in order to overcome it. Physical therapy will help by ensuring a gradual increase in the intensity of exercises, helping to move your joints as much as possible without increasing much pain. It also helps to restore joint movements and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Inhibit scar tissues formation

One of the side effects post surgery is the formation of scar tissues. However, scar tissues are undesirable due to various reasons such as cosmetic appearances, impediment of motion and as a source of discomfort. Scar tissues are usually darker in colour and their sizes depend on the depth of the wound. This can cause women to feel inferior and lose self confidence. Also, scar tissues are thicker and harder than normal tissues and this can impede motion especially if the scarring is at the joints. Being thicker and harder, it also presses down on other tissues, causing pain and lead to a higher chance of re-injury. Physical therapy starts early and this helps to reduce and inhibit the formation of scar tissues, lessening the chances of those effects mentioned above.

Physical therapy is an important part of the healing process. It actually starts before surgery and lasts all the way until around a year later. It helps to strengthen the muscles around the injury to help better support it and regain the range of motion after surgery.

Snapping Hips : Causes and Treatment

Snapping hip or dancer’s hip is a medical condition resulting in a snapping sound whenever the hip is used such as running, walking, jumping or even simply standing up from a sitting position. There are many possible causes for snapping hip and will often cause annoyance to the patient.

Iliopsoas band snapping

There is a thick connective tissue called the iliotibial band located at the outside of the hip. This iliotibial (IT) band passes through the part of the thigh bone that is protruding out called the greater trochanter and standing up from a previously sitting position can cause the IT band to snap, creating a snapping sound.

Iliopsoas tendon snapping

Similar to the above, the IT tendon acts as the primary flexor muscle for the hip passing through the front of the hip joint. During hip flexing motions, the IT tendon can cause a snap, creating the annoying sound that disturbs patients. This is usually harmless, only annoyance.

Cartilage tear

Cartilage is another possible reason for snapping hips. Due to injury or various reasons, the cartilage can be injured and result in a loose flap. During hip motions, this loose flap can hit against the hip, causing a snapping sound that is rather faint. Since this is due to injury, patients may experience instability in their hips and will require stability aids.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help to strengthen the soft tissues around the hips to better support it. Most of the exercises can be performed at home or your office and will not take up much of your time.

Iliotibial band stretching

This exercise requires the presence of a wall for support. Cross your right leg over the left and lean your hip towards the wall. You will be able to feel a stretch at the hip region and hold for 20 seconds. Change the leg and repeat the step. Repeat the exercise for 3 sets of 15.

Piriformis stretch

Lie down on your back and bend your knees slightly while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Cross the leg of the side of the injured hip and hold your hands behind your thigh. Pull the injured hip towards you and you will be able to feel a stretch. Hold in the position for 15 seconds and repeat for 3 sets of 15.

Quadriceps stretch

This exercise also requires the presence of a wall. Place your hand on the wall for support. Reach for the ankle of the injured hip and pull it towards you while standing in an upright position. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets of 15.

If the cause of your snapping hips is not due to injuries, it does not affect you much except annoyance. If they are due to injuries, you will need to administer medical treatments. Try doing physical therapy exercises initially and if it fails, you may need corticosteroid injections or even surgical treatments such as hip arthroscopy.

Recovery from Metatarsals Fracture

There are many bones in our foot and 5 of them are long bones, otherwise known as metatarsals. If you are an avid football fan, this term should not sound foreign to you. Remember just before the 2002 World Cup, the famous injury that David Beckham suffered from was a metatarsals injury, resulting in it being called the “Beckham Bone”. During a fracture, one if not some metatarsal(s) is broken, resulting in an orthopaedic condition. This is followed by pain and swelling and the inability to absorb shock and weight from the patient.

The first and foremost step would be to provide ample rest to your injured foot. You should stop whatever activities you are engaging to prevent further stresses to your foot. When possible, try to elevate the injured leg to prevent accumulation of fluid, relieving pain and swelling. To reduce the pain further, you can use an ice-pack to bring down the swelling and numb the surrounding muscle and nerves. Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol can be orally consumed to provide temporary relief from pain.

Treatment and recovery differ from each patient and the extent of injury. For displaced fractures, an orthopaedic realignment of the bones will need to be carried out under general anaesthesia. The injured foot will be placed in a protective cast for a couple of weeks to allow proper fixation of the bone. For fractures that are not so serious, the patient often requires only a protective cast and a protective boot with crutches. Rehabilitation follows after the treatment and this is an extremely important part of the recovery process. Firstly, the patient will need to eliminate any possible causes of large stresses to the injured foot. Secondly, the patient will need to undergo intensive physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy is carried out to strengthen the muscles gradually and slowly regain back to an active lifestyle. This is due to the shrinking of muscles due to prolonged periods of inactivity, resulting in a need to firm them up again.

Patients with metatarsal fracture are able to make a total recovery back to their pre-injury levels with prompt treatment, proper physical therapy and a nutritious diet. It may take a few months for patients to get back to their active lifestyle though. However, the recovery period differs from each patient and it often takes much determination to diligently perform what is prescribed.

Read here for more information about metacarpal fractures or commonly known as the Boxer’s Fracture.