Increasingly, international health care facilities are adapting their healthcare services to implement Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) principles. Known as ERAS, enhanced recovery after surgery protocols incorporate various health strategies that nurture and accelerate the rate of orthopedic surgery recovery time.
ERAS’s goal is aimed at reducing the stress of surgery on your patients by ensuring a multifaceted aftercare health team is in place. Studies suggest that an overall health-conscious and strategic ERAS environment, specifically tailored to your patient’s individual physical and psychological health requirements, is highly effective.
- Orthopedic surgery recovery strategies that provide faster discharges from hospitals
- Strategies to get your patient rapidly resuming normal and enhanced activities
- How to help patients experience a decrease in after-surgery complications
- Dietary requirements as a surgery recovery strategy. How to provide positive mental health and wellbeing in your patient during their healing process
Enhancing Recovery After Orthopedic Surgery
The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) explains:
“Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) refers to a patient-centered, evidence-based, multidisciplinary team developed pathways for a surgical specialty and facility culture to reduce the patient’s surgical stress response, optimize their physiologic function, and facilitate recovery. These care pathways form an integrated continuum, as the patient moves from home through the pre-hospital / preadmission, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases of surgery and home again.” ~ American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA)
There are a few factors that determine how quickly a patient recovers after their orthopedic surgery. Maximizing recovery time with perioperative care includes networking and information sharing with:
- Support groups, such as your patient’s family
- Effective pain management
- Various professionals and therapists
- Dietary requirements
Following are some of the top orthopedic surgery recovery strategies.
Orthopedic Surgery Recovery Strategy #1: Pain Management
Each individual orthopedic surgery patient requires a customized pain control method based on your assessment of the patient’s overall health history. As such, when dealing with pain management, a combined health approach that is individualized for your patient has proven in studies to be the best option.
Part of the pain control method naturally includes medication. Medications are advantageous in making your patients feel more comfortable while enabling them to become mobile sooner. They also aid with your patient’s ability to regain their strength back more quickly and recover from surgery faster.
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- local anesthetics
- over the counter pain medications
Various pain control medications are used before and after surgeries but can become highly addictive as well.
Increasingly, surgeons are also incorporating alternative therapies for managing their patient’s pain as a supplement to conventional medicine. This is in part due to the risks of dependency on some pain medications, such as opioids.
The alternative methods include:
- medical hypnosis
- meditation and visualization techniques
In addition, the emotional and psychological state of your patient impacts the degree of physical pain they experience. However, the psychological factors are often overlooked in the assessment process even though studies show that this area can enhance treatment and the recovery process.
Psychological processes are also proven to influence the degree of physical pain experienced by your patient. It is a determining factor of their treatment and surgery outcomes. Integrating psychological and physical therapy treatments will greatly enhance your patient’s recovery process time and the speed in which it occurs.
Orthopedic Surgery Recovery Strategy #2: Rehabilitation Therapies
Restoring your patient’s physical and mental capabilities with rehabilitation involves a combination of therapies. Additional therapists working with you and your patient should include:
- Physical Therapists. Physical therapy for your patient greatly aids them with restoring their physical strength and vitality, mobility, and relief from pain. The length of the physical therapy will depend on your patient’s individualized needs and requirements and includes an exercise regime.
- Psychological Therapists. Studies prove that the management of pain utilizing a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach that includes psychological therapies is highly effective. Some of the psychological therapies include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- mindfulness-based psychotherapy
- Occupational therapists. Occupational therapy seeks to aid your patient with regaining their physical independence after surgery. This is accomplished through
further use of various exercises and routines that will ensure your patient is back in a normal daily routine.
- Registered Dietitians. Registered Dietitians will implement dietary strategies with a detailed nutritional regime for your patient to follow before and after their orthopedic surgery.
Orthopedic Surgery Recovery Strategy #3: Dietary Requirements
Orthopedic surgery is stressful and your patient’s stress response requires them to consume more calories to recover from surgery. The proper dietary needs during the healing and recovery process aid in reducing potential post-surgery complications.
Your patient’s dietitian is an important team player that aids in educating them about the importance of certain vitamins and minerals in their diets, particularly during their healing process. These include:
- Protein that aids the body’s ability to amplify the immune system, which fights off infections.
- Vitamin C that the body uses to create collagen, needed during recovery.
- Calcium that is required for strong bones.
- Vitamin D that helps with calcium absorption.
A dietitian will also explain why your patient needs to avoid foods containing:
- Excessive sugar
- Excessive salt
With great perioperative care through medical staff guidance, your patient’s experience of quality healthcare will accelerate their orthopedic surgery patient recovery, amplify their quality of life, and reduce health care costs in the long run.
A healthy patient-doctor relationship builds supportive teams that aid in speeding the orthopedic surgery recovery time up with extended support groups and technological measures.