Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

When can I drive?
Driving should be generally delayed until one is off narcotic pain medication, and once reasonable mobility has returned. This usually takes a period of approximately 2-3 weeks.

When can I return to work?
Return to work is dependent on both the nature of work and the time it takes for the acute pain after surgery to settle. Those employed in sedentary type positions, office work for example, are generally able to return to work 4-6 weeks post-operation. Some factors that may allow you to return to work sooner include: the rapid resolution of pain post-operatively, a less pronounced swelling response, the possibility of modifications being made in the work environment, or the ability to work from home. Those employed in more physically demanding positions would likely return sometime between 3-6 months post-operatively. An earlier return could be influenced by the patient’s progress in rehab, the physically demanding characteristics of the job, the ability to purchase a functional ACL brace post-operatively and the possibility of whether modifications could be made in the work environment.

Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction

When can I get rid of these crutches?
This timeline varies from patient to patient. It is largely dependent on how fast the acute pain and swelling settle post-operatively, how soon knee range of motion returns, and the patients comfort walking with or without the crutches.

When can I return to sports?
It generally takes 6-9 months post-operatively to return to cutting and pivoting type sports. This is the length of time it takes for the ACL graft to become incorporated into the knee. It also takes at least this long to properly rehabilitate the knee and restore the strength and coordination required for these activities.

Is swelling normal?
Each patient is expected to experience swelling on the knee following an ACL reconstruction. The amount of swelling immediately post-operatively can be quite variable but often is quite dramatic and similar in degree to the swelling that develops following an acute ACL injury.

When can I drive?
It is possible for patients to drive sooner if it has been the left leg that has undergone surgery and if there is access to a vehicle with automatic transmission. Driving should be generally delayed until one is off narcotic pain medication, and once reasonable mobility has returned. This usually takes a period of approximately 2-3 weeks.

When can I return to work?
Return to work is dependent on both the nature of work and the time it takes for the acute pain after surgery to settle. Those employed in sedentary type positions, office work for example, are generally able to return to work 4-6 weeks post-operation. Some factors that may allow you to return to work sooner include: the rapid resolution of pain post-operatively, a less pronounced swelling response, the possibility of modifications being made in the work environment, or the ability to work from home. Those employed in more physically demanding positions would likely return sometime between 3-6 months post-operatively. An earlier return could be influenced by the patient’s progress in rehab, the physically demanding characteristics of the job, the ability to purchase a functional ACL brace post-operatively and the possibility of whether modifications could be made in the work environment.

Meniscus and Cartilage Repair

Will I be allowed to walk after surgery?
You will typically not be allowed to bear weight for the first 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of non-weight bearing, you may be cleared for protected weight bearing in a knee immobilizer. At the 8 week mark after your surgery, you can expect to be cleared to progress weight bearing as tolerated without protection.

When will I be cleared to drive?
This is dependent on which extremity is uninvolved. If surgery is performed on your left knee, you will be cleared to drive an automatic vehicle once you have discontinued narcotics. If surgery is performed on the right knee, you will typically be cleared to drive at 4 weeks postoperatively.

How much physical therapy will be necessary after surgery?
This varies from patient to patient. You can typically expect 4 to 8 weeks of formal physical therapy following this procedure. This will depend on how quickly you regain knee range of motion and quadriceps strength.

When can I shower after surgery?
We typically recommend keeping your incision clean and dry until your follow-up appointment, which is usually 7 to 10 days post-op.

When can I expect to return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week postoperatively. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, especially climbing, then it would likely be 3 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

When can I return to sports after surgery?
You will be cleared to begin performing squatting maneuvers at 3 months from surgery. At that time you can also expect to be cleared to begin a light progressive jogging program. Your activity level will progress from here and you can expect to return to sports as soon as 4 months from surgery, depending on your quadriceps.

Total Knee Revision

How soon will I be able to walk after surgery?
You will be cleared to progress weight bearing as tolerated immediately after surgery. You will usually not work with physical therapy until the following morning after surgery.

When will I be cleared to drive?
This is dependent on which extremity is uninvolved. If surgery is performed on your left knee, you will be cleared to drive an automatic vehicle once you have discontinued narcotics. If surgery is performed on the right knee, you will typically be cleared to drive approximately 4 weeks postoperatively.

How much physical therapy will be necessary after surgery?
This varies from patient to patient. You can typically expect 4 to 8 weeks of formal physical therapy following this procedure. This will depend on how quickly you regain knee range of motion and quadriceps strength.

When can I shower after surgery?
We typically recommend keeping your incision clean and dry until your follow-up appointment, which is 7-14 days postop.

When can I expect to return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week postoperatively. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, such as climbing, then it would likely be 3 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Multiligament Knee Reconstruction
Information coming soon…
Computer Assisted Knee Replacement
Information coming soon…
Oxford unicompartmental (partial) Knee Replacement
Information coming soon…
Arthroscopic Shoulder Reconstruction

How long will I be in a sling after surgery?
You will be in a sling for 8 weeks after surgery. The first 4 weeks will be a shoulder immobilizer restricting all shoulder motion. The following 4 weeks you will just be in a sling, which will allow for some restricted shoulder motion.

How much physical therapy will be required after surgery?
You can expect to initiate a range of motion program with physical therapy 1 month after surgery. You will typically begin working on a strengthening program 2 months after surgery. Most patients will require 2-3 months of formal physical therapy following a shoulder reconstruction.

When can I drive after surgery?
You will be cleared to drive once you discontinue use of a sling at 8 weeks from surgery.

When can I return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week postoperatively. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, especially climbing or overhead lifting, then it would likely be 3-4 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

How long will I be in a sling after surgery?
You will be in a sling for 8 weeks after surgery. The first 4 weeks will be a shoulder immobilizer. We will typically allow passive range of motion (shoulder motion without contraction of the operative shoulder) after your initial postoperative visit. The following 4 weeks, you will just be in a sling, which will allow for some restricted shoulder motion.

How much physical therapy will be required after surgery?
You can expect to initiate an active range of motion program with physical therapy 1 month after surgery. You will typically begin working on a strengthening program 2 months after surgery. Most patients will require 2-3 months of formal physical therapy following a shoulder reconstruction.

When can I drive after surgery?
You will be cleared to drive once you discontinue the sling at the 8 week mark after surgery.

When can I return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week after surgery. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, especially climbing or overhead lifting, then it would likely be 3-4 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Total Shoulder Replacement

How long will I be in a sling after surgery?
You will be in a sling for 8 weeks after surgery. The first 4 weeks will be a shoulder immobilizer. The second 4 weeks you will be in a sling allowing some range of motion of the shoulder.

How much physical therapy will be required after surgery?
You will be cleared to lift the shoulder to shoulder level 1 month after surgery. You will typically be cleared for motion as tolerated and a gentle progressive strengthening program 2 months after surgery. Most patients will require approximately 2 months of formal physical therapy following a shoulder replacement.

When can I drive after surgery?
You will be cleared to drive once you discontinue your sling at the 8 week mark after surgery.

When can I return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week postoperatively. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, especially climbing or overhead lifting, then it would likely be 3-4 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

How long will I be in a sling after surgery?
You will be in a sling for 8 weeks after surgery. The first 4 weeks will be a shoulder immobilizer. The second 4 weeks you will be in a sling allowing some range of motion of the shoulder.

How much physical therapy will be required after surgery?
You will be cleared to lift the shoulder to shoulder level 1 month after surgery. You will typically be cleared for motion as tolerated and a gentle progressive strengthening program 2 months after surgery. Most patients will require approximately 2 months of formal physical therapy following a shoulder replacement.

When can I drive after surgery?
You will be cleared to drive once you discontinue your sling at the 8 week mark after surgery.

When can I return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as 1 week postoperatively. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, especially climbing or overhead lifting, then it would likely be 3-4 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Total Hip Replacement

How long will I be in the hospital?
Patients usually stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days after hip replacement. During that time, we monitor vital signs and laboratory values. Most importantly, the physical therapists teach the patients how to get around with a new hip.

Will I need physical therapy when I go home?
Yes. Physical therapy will continue after you go home with a therapist in your home or at an outpatient physical-therapy facility. The length of time required for this type of therapy varies with each patient. We will help you with these arrangements before you go home.

Will I need blood?
You may need blood after the surgery. You may donate your own blood, if able, or use the community-blood-bank supply.

How long does the surgery take?
Total hip replacement will take about an hour, depending upon the severity of arthritis in your hip.

Fracture Care
Information coming soon…
Carpal Tunnel Release

What are my restrictions after surgery?
You will be in a wrist splint for approximately 4 weeks after surgery. You will be allowed to progress activities as tolerated during this time.

When can I drive after surgery?
You will be cleared to drive once you have discontinued the use of narcotic pain medicine.

When can I return to work after surgery?
This will be completely determined by the type of work that you do. If your job is office work, consisting of sedentary work, then you could possibly be cleared to return to work as soon as a couple of days after surgery. If your job consists of heavy manual labor, then it would likely be 1-2 months before you are ready to return to work. This would also be dictated by the speed at which you recover.

Sports Medicine

How can I avoid a sports injury?
The most common cause of a sports injury is the failure to warm-up sufficiently before beginning strenuous activity, however injuries are also often caused by the incorrect use of equipment and insufficient safety precautions. Those most predisposed to sports injury are competitive and professional athletes, whose intense training can make certain muscles susceptible to injury through overuse. Although it is impossible to prevent injury all the time due to the unpredictable nature of sports and physical activities, it is possible to undertake precautionary steps in order to decrease the likelihood of incurring an injury. Below are detailed the key steps to preventing a sporting injury.

Warm up
The warm-up is the most important and significant way to reduce the likelihood of injury when participating in sports. A sufficient warm-up session should last at least 5-10 minutes, and involves gently stretching and exercising muscles to prepare them for the strenuous activity to follow. It is vital to start the warm-up slowly, and build up gradually to a more brisk and energetic pace. Warming up in this way allows an increased flow of blood to reach the muscles, increasing the flexibility of the muscle fibers and significantly reducing the risk of pulling or straining a muscle. Ideal warm-up exercises include steady walking and jogging. These activities allow you to gradually increase the pace to further prepare your body for strenuous exercise. When you have warmed up, you can undertake some gentle stretches to lengthen the muscles and tendons, further preventing injury. Pay particular attention to stretching those muscles which will be used during your exercise.

Use the correct equipment
For some sports, protective equipment is important to prevent damage to participants. This is particularly important when the sport or activity involves physical contact with other players and participants. Protective equipment may include shin pads, boxing gloves or protective head gear. All these pieces of equipment are designed to prevent injury to vulnerable parts of the body. It is also important to wear correct footwear when participating in sports. The correct shoes can offer support to the foot and ankle, helping to prevent twisting and injury. Protective head gear is obviously extremely important, as helmets protect the skull and the brain from damage. This is vital in contact sports where the head may be knocked.

Technique
Many sports involve a particular technique which can minimize the risk of injury. It is important to learn the correct techniques associated with your chosen sport. By practicing good technique an individual can greatly reduce the risk of sports-related injury to muscles, tendons and bones. This is also important in the gym, where experts will be on hand to help you use all equipment safely and effectively.

Do not over-reach yourself
It is extremely important, when taking part in physical activities, to listen to your body and know your physical limits. When you begin a new sport, begin slowly and steadily to avoid pulling or straining muscles which your body may not be used to using or stretching. If you have not undertaken strenuous exercise for some time, it is especially important to build up your stamina and strength gradually to avoid injury. Over time, you will notice your fitness increase, and you will be able to undertake physical activity for longer periods of time.

Remain hydrated
Water is vital to keep the body going, and this is especially true when you are active and exercising. If you are exercising in heat or in sunny weather, it is especially important to keep your body hydrated as dehydration can significantly reduce mental and physical fitness.

Cool down
Just as it is important to warm-up properly, it is also essential that you cool down sufficiently after physical activity. After your work out, spend at least 5-10 minutes undertaking a gentle form of exercise (such as walking) to return your heart rate to a normal pace. The cool-down process allows your body to remove the muscles’ waste products and replace these with oxygen and nutrients. This helps to prevent stiffness of the muscles after exercising, and allows your muscles to recover steadily from physical activity. At this stage you may also wish to do some gentle stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles which you have been using during physical activity. This can prevent muscles becoming bulky as they increase in strength and size.