If you have sustained a knee injury as a result of playing sports or otherwise, then your sports orthopedic doctor will need to evaluate your treatment options. While conservative treatments may help ease your pain and enhance your mobility, these options may only provide short-term relief. Because of this, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to help ensure long-term relief. Here are some things you can do that may help speed up your recovery after your knee surgery.
Taking All Prescribed Medications
It is not uncommon for postoperative patients to stop taking their pain medications and prophylactic antibiotics once they start feeling better. Not taking all of your prescribed medication may raise your risk for infection, increase your level of pain and inflammation, and diminished your mobility.
If any of your pain medications or antibiotics cause side effects that you are unable to tolerate, call your sports medicine doctor. He or she may lower the dosage or may replace the medication with another drug that is less likely to cause adverse reactions. When you take all of your prescribed medications, you will be able to perform your rehabilitation exercises more effectively, which will help speed your recovery.
Many orthopedic patients are given antibiotics after surgery to help reduce the risk of surgical wound infections. If you stop taking your antibiotics, your risk for a wound infection rises, which may necessitate the need for additional treatment, or even further surgical intervention.
Consume Nutrient-Dense Foods
Certain nutrients are essential for proper wound healing and optimal circulation after knee surgery or other orthopedic procedures. Consuming a nutrient-dense diet that is rich in lean protein, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin D, and calcium helps promote healing, promotes blood flow to the surgical site, and helps reduce the risk for prosthetic knee implant rejection.
If you are unable to eat enough nutrient-dense foods to meet your recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals, talk to your sports orthopedic doctor about taking an over-the-counter multivitamin supplement. Do not take multivitamins or any other over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements without getting prior approval from your physician, because they may have the potential to interact with your prescribed medications.
If you are anticipating knee surgery, consider the above interventions. When you follow your orthopedic surgeon's postoperative recommendations, you will be more likely to enjoy an event-free recovery period. This will help you get back to your normal activities of daily living as soon as possible.