1. Do I need to see a physiotherapist after the surgery?
Physiotherapists are an integral part of the success of your procedure. We are fortunate to maintain a close relationship with many physiotherapy practices, and especially with physiotherapists in practices with further qualifications in sports rehabilitation. We prefer to refer you to a trusted colleague who is also located near to where you live or work for convenience. In some instances, you may need sessions before a proposed operation in order to speed up your post-operative recovery.
2. How soon can I drive after an operation?
It is recommended that someone drive you home after surgery and you will certainly not be allowed to drive a car if you have had a procedure the same day. The timing of resumption of driving after your operation can be difficult to establish and should be individualised to each patient, bearing in mind that according to insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, the patient is ultimately responsible for the decision to drive. A general rule of thumb is not to drive if you would require some form of analgesia to do so. Safe driving is usually possible with a simple forearm cast, but an elbow splint or an arm sling can significantly hamper your ability to drive safely.
After a shoulder arthroscopy or an acromioplasty, you should be safe to drive by two weeks or earlier, but it may take four weeks after a rotator cuff repair. You should also be able to brake safely and normal braking function after a right knee arthroscopy takes about four weeks, and about six weeks in ACL reconstruction and driving should be avoided with a cast or brace on the right leg. After a left ACL reconstruction, you may be able to drive after two weeks. For a total knee replacement you could drive at about four to six weeks.
3. How soon can I get back to work after the operation?
This depends on what sort of work you do. If it is mainly a desk-job then you could be back at work within a few days. If your work involves more activity then the amount of time you will need to be booked off for will have to be individualised according to the procedure you have had, your weight-bearing status, the need for crutches and braces etc. We will provide you with an appropriate medical certificate and, with your permission, would be happy to discuss the situation with your employer if this is necessary.
4. What is the approximate length of time in hospital?
For arthroscopic procedures you shouldn’t need to spend more than one night in hospital, and in some instances you may be able to go home the same day as your surgery. For joint replacement surgery your stay will be longer: 3 - 5 days after a total knee / hip replacement if there are no complications.