Three Things Your Surgeon Isn’t Telling You

I could easily have made it Ten Things. S/he isn’t telling you all kinds of things, because they are outside their domain.

We’ve entered a world where super-specialization is the norm. The surgeon wants to know that your bone is growing into the artificial joint, or that the issues affecting a surgery like yours don’t require attention (infection, unusual pain, etc)

They hand you off to a Physical Therapist, who in a few handfuls of visits is expected to remedy however many years of ‘deferred maintenance’ and the adaptations and compensations your body has taken to accommodate whatever is precipitating your surgery. Now, in some cases there isn’t so much compensation, but we all have a history of bumps, falls, and perhaps more serious accidents, and perhaps at least mild scoliosis or other mechanical issues. If we’ve had an osteoarthritic joint for long, we may also be developing problems in other joints (a classic example is a destabilized hip creating problems for the knee).

The physical therapist is likely used to only moderately compliant patients, and their focus is necessarily getting you to the point where you can live independently. Their default scope of work is not to restore you to where you were before any sign of your hip, knee or other issue that’s been a problem for a while. If you are seeking that (as I was), you have to establish that as a shared expectation. And I suggest that your provided visits will not be adequate, nor their composition sufficient for that goal.

While I can’t prescribe exercises and stretches to you without knowing you, I can share with you an overview of my successful program such that you can aim for an appropriate version of this for yourself.