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Gregg Schellack, orthopedist, shares everything you need to know about orthopedic surgery

Orthopedic surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the country. Over seven million Americans are hospitalized due to orthopedic conditions every year. Naturally, a lot of people have questions about orthopedic surgery and whether it’s right for them.

Credit: Peshkova

Doctor Gregg Schellack, Orthopedist, is here to share his professional knowledge to help educate people on what they need to know about undergoing orthopedic surgery.

Surgery is Not the ‘Go To’ Option

Hip replacements and knee arthroplasties are the most common types of orthopedic surgery, with more than 7.2 million Americans living with implants.

Contrary to what many think, surgery is a last resort. Schellack says that orthopedists will always try more holistic/non-operative treatments and steroid injections prior to recommending surgery. Patients should know that many common back and knee complaints can be resolved through physiotherapy and other lifestyle changes.

A Complex Diagnosis isn’t Always Necessary

Schellack explains that orthopedic surgery is often more expensive than it needs to be. The cost of an MRI performed at a hospital varies by state, but will always cost patients more than $1,000. For patients without insurance, this can stop them from getting the treatment they need.

These days, Schellack says that orthopedists can make an accurate diagnosis through more ‘hands on’ diagnostic methods and a careful review of the patient’s medical history.

Technology isn’t always necessary to make a diagnosis.

Rehab is Just as Important as Surgery

Schellack says that patients need to understand that the rehabilitation process is often as important as the surgery itself, particularly in cases of joint replacement and rotator cuff repair.

Rehab is designed to promote healthy blood flow and to boost mobility. Complications are more likely when patients don’t follow the prescribed exercises.

The only way to reap the benefits of surgery is to follow your rehabilitation process to the letter. Without this, you’re not going to get the results you want.

Don’t Always Opt for the Minimally Invasive Option

Patients are often afraid of going under the knife and receiving invasive surgery. This is perhaps the most common concerns patients have.

So, they often decide on the minimally invasive option instead. This isn’t always the right option because, while it may mean a shorter recovery period, it may not offer the long-term results you want.

More invasive surgeries often come with more long-lasting results, even if there’s more discomfort in the short-term.

Follow the advice of your surgeon on this matter. The best type of surgery depends entirely on your circumstances.

Be Aware of the Recovery Period

Depending on the type of surgery, you may be able to walk out of the hospital the following day. Surgeries like a total hip replacement may require at least a week in the hospital before you’re able to leave on crutches.

You should be aware that you will not be able to resume normal activities and your body will have to get used to the changes you’ve undergone.

Schellack says that your main priority is to promote blood flow and to follow the recovery steps closely in order to reduce the risk of complications and promote healing.

Last Word – Preparing for Surgery

Schellack’s final piece of advice is that if you do undergo surgery you should prepare your household for your recovery. Understand that your mobility will be strongly reduced.

The vast majority of patients who go under the knife will find it gives them a new lease of life. Just make sure you follow the instructions of your doctor.

Are you looking to undergo orthopedic treatment in the future?

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augusta free press