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  • Writer's pictureDr. Copeland


Healing from a bone and joint wound takes work. Even after a successful surgery there is still work to be done by the patient. Magic wands are great for theater, but in the real world, mending takes time and perseverance, not the wave of a stick.

Unfortunately, that’s not what most people want to hear. That’s why patients notoriously confess that they didn’t follow doctor’s orders.

It surprises me that people would invest the time and money in an operation to restore their quality of life, but weeks after the doctor’s dedicated hard work to restoring the patient, they stop doing the necessary work required for healing.

But at the same time I’m human, too. I understand the temptation to slack off.

So what can you do to heal faster, smarter, and better? Here are a few tips:

Eat well, especially protein, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, non-fried foods

Don’t smoke. Smoking not only affects oxygen in the lungs, but oxygen in every tissue in the body. If a tissue doesn’t have oxygen, it takes longer to heal.

Rest and don’t overwork

Do your therapy, and adhere to the protocols instructed by me and the therapist for post operative recovery. Yes, it can be a chore but it’s amazing the difference when you take responsibility for your own recovery.

Rest. Again, I say rest.

Have reasonable expectations. No, you most likely will not be able to play Olympic basketball after surgery if you had never taken a shot before surgery.

Have faith. Studies show that the mind is very powerful in overcoming adversity.

It would be nice if healing was always miraculous; instantaneous and without the work and surgery. Most of us will not have that kind of experience, but know that working hard will lead to much higher chance of being healed. I always tell my patients that I had the fun and easy part in doing the surgery, the hard part is the work and recovery you have to do as a patient afterwards. But it WILL be worth it!

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