If you currently cannot exercise because you suffer from too much pain, there are some surgeries that can help. Orthopaedic surgeons perform these surgeries to help patients with chronic pain conditions lose some of the pain. When they also suffer from morbid obesity, then surgery can help them regain enough mobility so they can exercise and lose some of the weight, too. Here are three surgeries that orthopaedic surgeons do to help patients regain mobility and exercise more.
Knee surgery is perhaps the most common of all orthopedic surgeries. Even a partial knee replacement can help restore a lot of mobility to a patient who has not walked much in months. Whether you have a partial or total knee replacement, you should be able to gradually return to exercise while you are in physical therapy after surgery. You will still have some pain for a while until your knee has healed, but once the knee has fully recovered from surgery you should have no more pain in that knee at all.
Plantar Fascia Surgery
This band of tissue stretches across the bottom of your foot and connects to the back of your heel. In people with flat feet, the fascii are stretched super-taut and can never relax, creating extreme pain on the bottoms of the feet and in the heels. When the pain is utterly debilitating (e.g., feels like you are walking on swords dipped in fire), your orthopedic surgeon will perform a surgery that cuts part of these tissues loose and loosen the nerves attached to the plantar fascii. As your feet heal and you complete physical therapy, the pain will be dramatically less.
Hip surgery is uncommon in younger patients unless there is a pre-existing condition that causes extreme pain or prevents a patient from being able to move their hips or move the femurs inside the hips. It is a much more common surgery in older patients, but regardless of the age of the patient, it can restore functional movement and encourage patients to return to a more active lifestyle.
In patients where morbid obesity is a contributing factor to their hip problems, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend bariatric surgery first to help lose some of the weight prior to performing a hip surgery. This is done for two reasons:
- The replacement hips in a larger patient may not be able to heal properly or function because of the excess tissue around the hips, in which case the patient is still stuck and immobile.
- The excess fat tissue would make hip replacement nearly impossible and a lot of the tissue would need to be removed in a separate surgery before the hip surgery could be done.
Ergo, bariatric surgery would help you lose enough weight so that the hip surgery could be performed as one surgery and repeat hip replacements would not be a possibility in the future.