What to expect when recovering from an orthopedic surgery
There are many different types of orthopedic surgeries, and the surgery will dictate the length of recovery period and the type of rehabilitation.
“The [efficacy of the surgical] repair, the size of the patient and other factors will dictate [what the recovery looks like],” says Mark Belew, MD, a BJC Medical Group orthopedic surgeon at Christian Hospital who specializes in shoulder, knee and hip replacements. “Then we direct the therapy accordingly. A lot of it is determined by interoperative findings. Then we try to direct it to the patients’ needs, so they can return to being functional at home and at work.”
For many orthopedic surgeons, the goal is to restore the ability to participate in regular activities, be it playing baseball, dancing ballet or simply going for a walk in the park. “Our goal in orthopedics is to keep people as comfortable and active as possible,” says Belew.
Charles Grimshaw, MD, a BJC Medical group orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician at Christian Hospital, remembers a patient who was a marathon runner in her 50s with significant peltola arthritis. Multiple surgeons told her she needed a knee replacement, and the patient was worried she wasn’t going to be able to run marathons again.
“We were able to do some significantly technologically advanced, minimally invasive surgery and she was able to run a couple of marathons after that,” he says. “The goal is to get people back to their desired physical activity,” he affirms.
Improving the quality of patients’ lives is a driving force that motivates the orthopedics team at BJC HealthCare to do excellent work and offer extraordinary care.