Life after an Accident or Surgery

Getting back into a normal routine after recovering from serious injury takes adjustment. Movements are made cautiously, that area will tense up immediately in certain situations, swelling and pain may persist, and re-injury is a real threat. The fact is, for many people, the injury changes future behavior in many ways.

Some Examples

Some activities will be out of the question for fear of straining that shoulder, or damaging that weakened wrist. One side of the body will be favored to take pressure off the ankle or elbow that is now put together with pins or rods. Watching the ground instead of the scenery while walking to avoid another knee injury, or thinking twice before gardening to prevent back pain, are also some effects injuries have on people.

What to Do?

The behaviors stem from an accident or surgery, but are actually more about strength, stability, fear, and confidence. Before leaving that final physical therapy session or the discharge appointment with the surgeon, ask about recommendations for knee braces and supports to avoid another injury. In many cases, even a little extra support can provide comfort and peace of mind moving forward.

A light compression splint for the wrist when playing tennis, a brace that stays in place around the knee with Velcro for traversing in the snow and ice in winter, or a back brace to wear while gardening can make a huge difference in how people continue with life after that accident or surgery. Many high-quality products can be purchased right over the counter, such as Mueller braces and supports.

Use Wisely

Constant use of supports may weaken the supported area so do not become dependent on them. They are not designed for excessive use. Supports are not a substitute for strengthening exercise, range of motion movements, or any weight loss efforts to reduce extra pressure on joints. The purpose of wearing a brace or support is to help people avoid injury when risks are higher than normal. The goal is to slowly decrease use until the support is needed only in extenuating circumstances.

Do not to hesitate to call the office of the surgeon, make an appointment to see the therapist again, or consult with a primary care physician if questions arise. People who are not sure if use is helping or hindering progress need to get clarification from a professional. Long-term or permanent damage due to excessive precautions will definitely be more painful and debilitating than another injury.