Pain Management Care: Recovering From Post-Orthopedic Surgery

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Orthopedic surgery can help deliver long-term pain management solutions. However, recovering from an ortho surgery can largely be an exercise of pain management in and of itself.

Here are some pain-management care solutions for when you're recovering from an orthopedic surgery.


Our body's natural response to trauma is to repair and protect. A telltale sign of repairing and protecting comes in the form of inflammation. This inflammation can be extremely painful around joints like your knees, hips, or ankles.

R.I.C.E: When it comes to reducing inflammation, there's a tried-and-true protocol.

Rest—you need to consult your orthopedist about your limitations after surgery. Wearing a knee brace or using crutches or a scooter might be necessary to properly rest the area. Ice—few things reduce inflammation and the pain it causes like icing. Submerging your knee or ankle in cold water can be effective; however, your surgical stitches can make this tricky. Compress—putting gentle pressure on inflamed areas can send more blood flow to the area. Wearing surgical compression socks is an easy way to send more blood flow to your lower extremities. Elevate—although elevating may temporarily reduce blood flow to an area, after the elevation, blood will rush to the area.


Chronic pain often stems from overuse injuries. Tendonitis is a catchall phrase for this lingering and chronic pain.

Physical Therapy

Although many orthopedic procedures are performed to repair traumatic acute injuries like MCL or ACL tears, the surgery will not repair any chronic pain that might have been present before the injury. One of your best orthopedic pain management solutions can be the physical therapist recommended by your surgeon. When you work with the physical therapist, it's critical to communicate any pain or discomfort you felt before the surgery. The physical therapist can then help you develop a comprehensive pain management solution that addresses the root cause of your chronic pain issues. For instance, if you suffered from lower back pain before your knee surgery, your physical therapist can focus on building your core strength, mobility, and flexibility in your lower back and hips. Although the exercises can be very difficult, they can deliver permanent pain relief without taking opioids or other pharmaceuticals. You physical therapist can also communicate with your orthopedic surgeon to monitor your recovery and progress. Be sure that you sign the necessary HIPAA release to allow your medical professionals to release information to each other.

Learn more about pain management by talking to healthcare professionals.