If you’ve been recommended to have orthopedic surgery to treat your musculoskeletal condition, there is nothing to fear when you are in the care of a respectable orthopedic surgeon. You can expect to feel less pain and improved capability of the treated area once you’ve begun to recover from the operation.
While every person has a slightly different experience during the orthopedic surgery and recovery phases, here’s a general idea of what you can expect from your surgery – and who you can talk to about how you can find relief from joint pain.
What Happens on the Day of Surgery?
On the day of your procedure, you will first be admitted to the presurgical area. That is where a nurse will take your vital signs and possibly administer any necessary medication. You will change into a hospital gown, and you will then lie down comfortably on a hospital bed.
You will then be transported to the operating room. Your anesthesiologist will give you a brief overview and will administer the anesthesia needed for the surgery. Anesthesia is either local or general, depending on the surgery: Local anesthesia only numbs a specific area, whereas general anesthesia will put you to sleep so that you do not feel anything and have no awareness during the operation.
The anesthesia is why your surgeon may direct you not to eat or drink anything after midnight before the surgery, because the anesthetic will loosen organs such as the sphincter that prevents food from coming up to the esophagus from the stomach. If you have undigested food in your stomach and you receive general anesthesia, it can cause choking during the surgery – which can be dangerous.
What Happens in Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Most orthopedic surgeries today are performed via minimally invasive surgical techniques. Arthroscopic procedures enable the surgeon to make repairs to your joints and soft tissues using miniature tools.
Because these tools are so tiny, the surgery only requires small “buttonhole” incisions in order to make repairs to the joint. This can include removing or repairing damaged cartilage, removing bone spurs in the joint, and repairing injured connective tissue – such as tendons or ligaments.
The shoulder, hip, and knee joints are the areas of the body that most frequently receive arthroscopic surgery. Orthopedic surgeons usually recommend this minimally invasive procedure for patients who are eligible for this type of surgery, because its benefits include:
- Less bleeding during the surgery
- Less scarring upon recovery
- Lower infection rates during and after surgery
- Faster recovery periods
For patients with diseased joints due to arthritis, the surgeon may recommend arthroplasty. This involves replacing the damaged tissues with prosthetic materials, and it is also a minimally invasive procedure. Artificial joints can last 15 to 20 years or more.
After the Surgery
Right after the operation, you will be wheeled into a recovery room, where you will be under close observation until you wake up. Once you are awake, the surgeon will give you a rundown of how the surgery went and any future recommendations. Nurses will monitor your vital signs, and a nurse or assistant will wheel you to your driver’s car once you are cleared to leave.
Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Little Rock, Arkansas
If your arthritis or musculoskeletal pain is affecting your quality of life, Dr. William Hefley is here to help you find relief so you can get back to the life you enjoy. We can help get you moving again, pain-free.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hefley, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (800) 336-2412 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!