physical therapy and rehabilitation December 2018
3600 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48503 • 810.620.8042 • horizonptflint.com
DEAL ING WI TH SURGERY AND RECOVERY Let Yourself Heal
not uncommon to feel powerless when it comes to surgery. Patients don’t always get to choose their surgeon. Sometimes you have to go to whoever your insurance will cover. Plus, it’s a little scary to think about someone cutting into you while you’re unconscious. When someone tells me they are worried about having surgery, I recommend they write down all the questions they have beforehand. For a lot of people, the scariest part of surgery comes from the unknown, so get all your questions answered by your physician. Make sure you also request to receive a copy of your surgical report afterward. This is a report written by the surgeon, and you can read all about what they did during your surgery. Getting all the information you can removes the unknown factors. In addition to gathering all the information, make sure you have a recovery plan for after your surgery. Follow the doctor’s post-op recovery plan, and make sure you have a trusted family member around to help you out during the initial stages of healing. Above all else, give yourself time to rest. That last one can be the hardest part about surgery. It’s tough when we’re so busy in life. Trust me, as a father of two and a business owner, I know how hard it is to take it easy. But if you don’t give your body time to heal, you’ll only hurt yourself all over again. I stayed off my leg as much as I could, didn’t rush things when I was on crutches, and made myself take it easy for a while. I’m still healing, but I’ve been doing exercises and regaining my range of motion. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt like it did, and I’m sleeping better than before. No one wants to have surgery. If physical therapy can help heal an injury without going under the knife, I will always encourage that route. But rehab isn’t enough to solve every problem. If your doctor recommends surgery and you have exhausted all conservative measures, no good comes from putting it off or trying to rush your recovery. You’ll just be back in a few years — and in worse pain than before! Do what’s right for your body, and give yourself the opportunity to heal.
About 10 years ago, I hurt my knee playing basketball. I did some rehab on it at the time, but the doctor I was going to didn’t see how bad the damage really was. I never really took care of my knee; I just let it “get better” on its own. Of course, without the right treatment, my knee didn’t heal fully. A fewmonths ago, I had that old injury flare up on me. This time, the doctor I went to did their due diligence. I had a torn meniscus, which means I’d ripped the cartilage in my knee. It’s a pretty common injury among basketball players, but it’s not something I could just do rehab on and expect it to heal. After talking to the doctor, I made the decision with my wife to get surgery.
This wasn’t my first surgery — I had a hernia repair when I was a kid — so I wasn’t too worried. If you choose the right people and they take the right precautions, you should be fine. My wife was more nervous than I was! But the doctor I went to had been recommended by someone I trust, so I knew I was in good hands. As a PT, I am fortunate that my career has given me an understanding about how the body works. I knew going in what I needed to do to recover and how surgery was going to help me get there. At lot of patients don’t have that foundation. It’s
-Dr. Jerome Adams
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