Millions of sports injuries happen every year in the United States, affecting athletes of all levels, from students and amateurs to seasoned pros. As an athlete, you know the devastating effects a sports injury can have on your life and your ability to enjoy the activities you love.
The good news: State-of-the-art orthopedic surgery can repair even the most complex injuries and help many athletes return to their sports once recovery and rehab are over. Still, while surgery offers lots of significant benefits, if surgery is in your future, it’s not uncommon to be nervous — even anxious — about what’s going to happen.
As a leading orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports surgery and arthroscopy, J. Michael Bennett, MD, understands the anxiety patients often feel. In this post, he and his team review what to expect on your day of surgery so you can feel more relaxed and confident about your procedure and your outcome.
When you arrive
As soon as you arrive at our office (or the hospital), you’ll be escorted to the preoperative area, where our nurse will take your vital signs and make sure you’re comfortable. The nurse may also ask if you have any questions or concerns you want to discuss with Dr. Bennett.
Shortly afterward, Dr. Bennett will arrive to go over your procedure and your surgical consent form. While it’s important to ask as many questions as possible during your earlier office visit, now’s the time to clear up any lingering confusion you may have.
If you’re having surgery on a limb, Dr. Bennett may put marks on the limb using a surgical marker. He’ll also go over the potential risks associated with the surgery, so you’re fully informed. You can learn more about the preoperative procedure in the first video on this page.
Depending on the type of surgery you’re having and your overall health, you may receive general anesthesia (the kind that makes you sleep) or another option. Some less invasive surgeries use nerve blocks and sedatives to numb the surgical site while also helping you relax.
Nerve blocks may also be used if you have a medical condition that makes general anesthesia too risky. Before you go to the OR, the anesthesiologist will review the type of anesthesia you’ll be receiving, so you’ll know what to expect.
What to expect in the OR
Once you’re in the OR, our team positions you on the operating table, so the treatment area is fully accessible. Anesthesia typically begins before you get to the OR, although you may not “fall asleep” until after you’re in position.
You’ll see a lot of equipment in the OR. Not all of the equipment will be used in your procedure. Dr. Bennett goes over some of the equipment used in the video in the link above.
Of course, every surgery is a little (or a lot) different, depending on the type of procedure being performed, the approach that’s being used, and other factors. These guidelines provide you with some general information about what to expect. You can see more details in Dr. Bennett’s second video on this page.
Discuss your concerns early
Knowing what to expect before the day of surgery can help reduce that “fear of the unknown” that makes many people nervous. Just as importantly, it can help highlight some additional questions or concerns you may have, so you can thoroughly discuss them before the day of your procedure.
To learn more about what to expect before your upcoming surgery, check out the videos on our website. Or, if you prefer to discuss your questions in person, call to schedule a visit at our practices in Sugar Land or Houston, Texas, or book a visit online today.