Post operative care basically refers to the assessment, diagnosis and evaluation of the outcome. The scope of post operative care required depends on the individual’s health before the surgery or the nature of surgery performed.

Orthopedic surgery generally refers to a branch of surgery which deals with the conditions of the muscular and the skeletal system. The ultimate goal of postoperative care in case of orthopedic surgery is to prevent further complications such as infection, to help in healing of the surgical wound and help in rehabilitation of the patient post surgery.

Therefore it is quite useful to plan for your recovery in advance. Surgery, whether a minor or a major one, requires special care. If the surgery is performed in regions like the spinal cord (spine surgery) , utmost care must be taken to prevent any further complications from creeping up. You must also be careful after a knee replacement surgery or a joint replacement surgery as further complications in these cases might result in complete paralysis.

The nature of post operative care depends on the type of surgery that is performed. Post operative care which is required after a spine surgery may be entirely different from post operative care needed for a knee replacement surgery or a joint replacement surgery.

Post operative care after a spine surgery

  • Taking care of the incision wound to prevent any sort of microbial infection. Utmost care must be taken to prevent any form of swelling on or near the wound or experiencing pain around the incision area. Bed rest and applying ice on the affected area may help to reduce your pain considerably. Covering the wound with adhesive bandages also helps in healing the wound.
  • Proper care is required for dressing. You need to change your dressing after around 1 or 2 days and this may be discontinued once the wound starts to heal. You also should not apply any cream or ointments without consulting your doctor first.
  • You might also face some amount of pain in the lower back region or in the muscles after surgery. This kind of pain normally subsides after around 6 months of undergoing surgery.

Post Operative care after a knee replacement surgery

Post operative care after a knee replacement surgery requires a more active rehabilitation process. Some of the rehabilitation procedures include:

  • Undergoing physiotherapy treatment after the surgery is one of the most fundamental rehabilitation techniques. Performing regular exercises, or using a support while walking is quite integral to postoperative care in case of knee replacement surgery.
  • You should also avoid activities like driving or frequently going up or down the stairs for at least 6-7 weeks after your surgery.

 Post operative care after a hip replacement surgery

  • Certain precautions are to be taken to prevent the dislocation of the hip joint. These precautions include not bending your hip above 90⁰, not bringing your knees and legs together or sitting straight up on the bed.
  • You also should not indulge in activities like driving or frequently using a staircase to prevent any further complications.

Therefore it is quite important to be very careful in the post operative period to avoid any further complications after you have undergone an orthopedic surgery. Reexamination by the doctor after around 7-8 days of surgery is very important. If, in case, any sort of problems creep up or in case of any complication, you should always visit the doctor instead of just ignoring it.

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