What to Expect When You’re Expecting Orthopedic Surgery: Part III

by Kara Federowicz
Kara-battleropes BLOG

Join us as we follow HSS athletic trainer Kara Federowicz through her journey of orthopedic surgery. This is the final installment of a three-part series discussing coming back from orthopedic surgery.

The 6-month mark of my post-op recovery and rehabilitation is right around the corner.  What they say is true: time really does fly when you’re having fun. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned throughout this remarkable experience, and what I continue to strive towards:

  • The buildup and anticipation towards the date of my surgery inspired me to dedicate myself to my overall health goals.
  • Prehabilitation and the work I put in before the surgery is what set me up for success post-operation. I had to look at the situation with the glass half-full and decide that I was not going to be defeated. So I never stopped. Before surgery I got as strong as I could, kept going, and prepared for the best.
  • I did everything that was prescribed for me but I also wasn’t afraid to push myself and try new things. I stayed within a safe zone, but I still managed to exceed what was expected of me. Always listen to the advice of your physical therapist and physician, and stay within the parameters they set for you, but don’t hesitate to tell them if you want to challenge yourself. Together you can create a plan that inspires you to reach your potential while maintaining your precautions.
  • I continued to teach my clients about the strength of their bodies and the power of their mindset, and I continued to learn about my own.
  • I learned to treat other people how you would want to be treated. I understand what it means to walk in someone else’s shoes and to overcome obstacles.
  • No one said it would get easier, but I got stronger. Now I go to physical therapy 3 times a week, swim 2-3 days a week, spin or cycle 4 days a week and use the elliptical. My strength and conditioning routine includes lateral steps, 8-inch step ups and step downs with dumbbells, deadlifts with a barbell, physioball curls and core work. If you get the okay from your physical therapist and physician, you might consider adding a certified trainer to your wellness team. A qualified trainer can help you establish a routine for your level of fitness, encourage you, and make sure that you’re maintaining good form for safety. It feels wonderful to set and reach new goals!
  • The recovery process can be a chance to get excited about exercise in a new way. In a couple of weeks I will begin to run again. I can’t wait and I never even used to like running. It’s one of those things where when something is taken away from you, you just want it back… that’s what running is to me right now!

My motto throughout my rehabilitation has been, “If it isn’t challenging me, it won’t change me.” I’ve had to recondition my brain to tell my body that I can do these things, and I encourage you to do the same in your own journey of wellness and recovery. And remember —it’s not a stop in the road, it’s just a detour.

 

 

 

 

 

Kara Federowicz is a certified athletic trainer at the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. Kara has a degree from Penn State in kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement. This material is adapted from the personal blog Kara kept to record her experiences throughout her recovery.

Topics: Featured, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Fitness
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The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

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Hospital for Special Surgery
April 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Anjie was born with a number of challenging conditions, including bilateral PFFD- a birth defect affecting the pelvis- and a left club foot. She came to HSS when she was a baby and received treatment from a team of professionals including Dr. Daniel Green and Dr. Roger Widmann, HSS Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons, and Glenn Garrison, Director of Prosthetics & Orthotics. Anjie began intensive physical therapy when she was only 1, and started working with Magdalena Oledzka as her primary therapist 6 years ago. Now at 13, she has a better prosthetic fit, decreased pain and was even able to walk down the aisle as a bridesmaid in her sister's wedding! We're very proud of her! #transformationtuesday #pediatrics #orthopedics #HSS

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April 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? Christina Pierozzi, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, says: "Autism Spectrum disorders include a group of developmental disorders that can cause impairments in language and communication, motor skill development, behavior, and social participation. The prevalence of autism is increasing and now affects 1 out of 68 children, and is more common in boys than girls. It is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US. Our pediatric therapists at HSS work with children with autism to meet their physical, occupational, and speech therapy goals." For more information on autism, visit http://www.autismspeaks.org.

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