Are you planning on traveling for the holidays After Having surgery in Kansas City?
As surgeons we get asked about traveling following procedures on a regular basis. We at Apex understand that just because you have surgery doesn’t mean life stops, and we don’t expect it to. Regardless of whether we’ve replaced your knee, fixed your shoulder, straightened your toes, or anything in between we want you to feel safe and comfortable post-operatively. But to answer your question, yes, you may travel after surgery. Typically you don’t even need special clearance from your surgeon. Most importantly though, make sure that YOU feel up to it.
When it comes to traveling after surgery, what we would be most concerned about is the risk of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or blood clot. These can happen after an extended time of little to no movement. The risk is highest 4-6 weeks after surgery and the risk increases if you have a history of DVT or a previous clot, cancer, take oral estrogen (including birth control pills) or are obese.
To prevent a DVT and promote safe traveling after any surgery or injury, here are a few tips:
- If flying, give yourself adequate time to check in and get to your gate. Trying to rush while in a cast, on crutches, or with a walker never turns out well.
- Don’t be afraid to take a wheelchair or ask for a ride from airport attendants. These services are available to make your travel easier.
- Continue all precautions put in place by your surgeon, such as if they ask you to wear a sling or use crutches do it.
- If riding in a car for a long time, take a break every 3 to 4 hours to get out and walk around. Public rest stops, welcome centers and gas stations are great places to stretch your legs.
- If in a car, pack a cooler full of ice so you can continue to ice as you ride.
- Continue to elevate your operative limb when possible, but don’t rest it on the dashboard of a vehicle.
- You can do at home exercises from a physical therapist just about anywhere, including an airport or during breaks on a road trip.
- If you have TED hose, wear them.
These are just a few steps you can take to ensure your holiday travels aren’t affected by your surgery.
If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon’s care team!