How Orthopaedic Surgeons Can Help Patients Recover Faster

Orthopaedic surgeons provide essential services to many people in need of knee- or hip replacements, ACL reconstruction, meniscectomy or spinal surgery to name a few. Many of these surgeries can leave patients home-bound and even bedridden for some time which makes recovery post-surgery an equally important consideration.

While surgery recovery times may depend on the type of procedure, it also varies from person to person. For example, hand surgery is far less invasive than having a triple bypass, for example, and younger, fitter patients generally recover faster. There are several things orthopaedic surgeons can do to help someone recover faster; and sharing these tips with your patients could provide them with some valuable insights.

Give Clear Instructions For Surgery Recovery

It may seem simple enough but many patients only follow the instructions they feel are important. If someone is only allowed to shower for 6 weeks and not bath post-surgery, be sure to explain why in fine detail. The same applies to lifting objects heavier than 5 kg or refraining from any strenuous exercise. If there’s a chance that they could cause more damage by ignoring your instructions, inform them of the real consequences if they do.

Knowledge is not power, it is only potential. Applying that knowledge is power. Understanding why and when to apply that knowledge is wisdom!

- Takeda Shingen

Make Sure Patients Come For Follow-Up Appointments

Many patients neglect to return for follow-up appointments which can also affect their overall surgery recovery. In many cases, patients may feel better and believe it’s not necessary to make another appointment as it would be a waste of time and money. Inform your patients post-surgery that this is simply not the case. It is always good for patients to be informed that follow-ups are free of charge, where applicable.

As their orthopaedic surgeon, you need to know how they are feeling and if their incision is healing well along with performing other vital checks. Patients need to understand that they are unable to check everything that you can. Often, patients may require follow-up blood work or an examination to determine if there is an underlying infection. Another important consideration is that you may have to adjust their medication following the surgery.

Wound Care And Preventing Infections

Not everyone likes looking at their incisions but it is important that your patients inspect theirs several times every day. While this may not be possible for all surgeries, patients can use a mirror to have a good look at the area. Some questions they need to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Is the incision pink or red?
  • Is there any wound drainage and if so, what colour is it?
  • Are the stitches or staples still intact?
  • Do you have a fever?
  • Are you in severe pain or discomfort?

These questions are important in surgery recovery and help determine whether everything is healing as it should and if there are any signs of infection.

Recommended: ‘Surgical Site Infections

Do’s And Don’ts Of Wound Care

One of the easiest and most obvious tips is to wash their hands before touching the surgical area. Many patients try to keep their surgical area too clean by using alcohol or peroxide which can cause a host of other potential health problems. Inform them that a gentle wash with soap and water is more than adequate.

What some patients may not know is that scabbing on your surgical staples is normal and that removing them could actually slow down the healing time considerably. Some tend to scrub the incision so hard that they remove the scab. Patients need to know that soaking their incision to keep it clean is also harmful as it could weaken the incision line.

Promote A Healthy Eating Plan

Even though many patients don’t feel like eating after surgery due to feeling nauseous, being constipated or simply a lack of appetite. However, staying hydrated and eating healthily can help speed up recovery, minimise several common complications and overcome the side effects of anaesthesia. Make sure your patients understand that it is hard to heal if their bodies don’t have the necessary fuel to repair itself.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

- Hippocrates

Medical Financing For Orthopaedic Surgeons

If your patients don’t have medical aid or even those with partial cover, MediFin provides affordable medical loans to ensure they receive the medical treatment they require. Regardless of the procedure, whether they need hand surgery, knee replacement surgery or helping with brittle bone disease, MediFin can help. Here is how easily your patients can apply for financing.

Orthopaedic surgeons in South Africa can give their patients peace of mind knowing that you can help bridge the gap with MediFin’s affordable financing options. Join other orthopaedic surgeons like Stewart Orthopaedics and Ashberg Specialty Orthopaedics by signing up to the growing MediFin Partner Network.

Benefits Of Medical Loans For An Orthopaedic Surgeons

Medical financing can help orthopaedic surgeons provide patients with affordable payment options when they need it most. Here are some of the benefits of joining the MediFin Partner Network:

  • Orthopaedic surgeons get paid upfront and in full
  • There is no commission, hidden costs or fees
  • Help improve general patient care
  • Promote better patient engagement
  • Increased cash flow as more people will be able to afford a hip or knee replacement surgery, an osteotomy, herniated disc surgery and arthroscopy among others

Not all medical aids fully cover orthopaedic surgeries but with MediFin, there is something you can do to help. Get in touch with MediFin for additional information or to learn more about MediFin Insurance.