If you have recently had knee surgery to repair a ligament or meniscus, you have a long road of recovery ahead. In order for your knee to heal properly, you need adequate rest, but you also need to make sure you stay on top of your rehabilitation instructions from your orthopedic surgeon. Some people have trouble meeting their daily needs immediately after surgery, which affects their healing and their ability to be consistent with rehab. Here are some reasons why you might benefit from short-term nursing care in the few weeks following your surgical repair.
1. You might need help with basic needs.
If you live alone or have limited help from family or friends, you might need help with basic living. For example, you might need someone to help you get meals, bathe, and even climb into bed. Your knee will begin to heal, but minimal activity after surgery is an important part of immediate recovery.
2. You could need someone to assist with specific rehab exercises.
You also might feel like you can't do some of the movements and stretches without help, at least at first. Having a nurse who can help you stick to the schedule and help you do the exercises correctly can reduce your risk of doing them poorly or skipping them altogether. A nurse can also help with pain management during and after physical therapy, providing ice and heat packs and medications prescribed by your orthopedic doctor.
3. You might not be able to provide care to other family members.
If you have young children or another family member who depends on you for care, it's important that you get professional home assistance for a short time until you are better able to move on your own. You should not be picking up or chasing after toddlers when you're recovering from knee surgery.
4. You risk re-injury if you do too much too soon.
Doing too much too soon could mean that you end up back in the doctor's office for more intervention work. Some people even end up needing more surgery if they do not follow post-operation guidelines. Your nurse will be able to assess if you are too active for your level of recovery. A nurse can also help on the other end of the spectrum; too much rest can also affect healing. Your nurse can push you to do more if you are reluctant to get back on your feet for fear of injuring yourself again.