When Should You Have Surgery?

About 1 million Americans have joint replacement surgery every year. Joint replacements become necessary due to conditions like arthritis or a debilitating injury. Thanks to robotics, some patients can have elective surgery at any time. A common question patients have is the timing of surgery. The time of year for elective surgery is often overlooked, but this simple step can help with a smooth recovery.

Understanding robotics

As technology has progressed over the years, so have the medical applications. Robotic joint replacement is one such technique that has improved speed, accuracy, and success. The surgeon operates behind a console using a robotic arm to perform the replacement. The robotic arm technology maps out the prosthetic replacement beforehand to the patient’s exact needs. On the day of the surgery, the robotic arm supports the surgeon in removing the damaged cartilage and bone, installing the new joint.

Consider spring and fall

Doctors recommend spring and fall as the ideal times for surgery. Moving around and exercising are essential parts of recovery. The weather around this time is perfect for maximizing visits to a physical therapist. Spring and early fall also allow for fewer layers of clothing, so clothes would not impact the surgical site. Patients will also find changing clothes easier and exercising more convenient.

Save it for summer?

Summer sounds like the ideal time for surgery, but there are some drawbacks. The hot weather can also make physical therapy and exercise unappealing. Some patients will find incisions are more challenging to change and manage. Above all, who wants to be recovering during the summer? Patients prefer to be fully recovered by then to have fun and enjoy the new joint.

What about winter?

Patients are less inclined to move due to the cold weather. A lack of movement can slow down recovery as exercising helps strengthen the surrounding muscles. Icy floors are also dangerous, increasing the chances of injury. The colder months also impact circulation, which can decline for older patients. Winter also increases the chances of postoperative depression, an often overlooked condition.

It’s up to you

Robotic arm surgery is renowned for high success and faster recovery time. However, the time of year can have a significant impact on recovery. There are pros and cons to having surgery at different times of the year. However, the best time is the most convenient time for the patient. Some people can only get time off in the winter or summer. There’s also the availability of the surgeon to consider. The most significant advantage of robotic surgery is the minimal downtime. Even if the surgery occurs in a less-than-ideal month, patients will be back up and running quickly.