In this day and age, it is hard to find someone who hasn’t had, or knows someone who has had orthopedic surgery. It seems that if you’ve discovered soft tissue damage, the only possible solution is to repair it. In my opinion, many people don’t realize that surgery is a huge shock for your body and much of the recovery process is healing from the invasion of your tissues.

Yes, if you are unable to do the things your normally do because of a catastrophic injury that has rendered your joint unstable, you are a great candidate for surgery. But if your joint only gives you grief on Tuesdays if it is raining and the moon is full, then you really should hold off.

Take the knee for example – to even get into the joint capsule to repair any meniscus or ligaments, regardless if the surgery is arthroscopic (tiny cameras and tools are inserted through small incisions) or open, the surgeon is having to cut through skin, superficial fascia, deep fascia, and muscle just to get in. There’s a ton of beautiful goopy fascia that gets sliced, PLUS, they probably will slice through something they didn’t realize was important. (See discovery of new knee ligament here.) You know how you get a scab on the cut that the surgeon made? That incision goes all the way down to the repair site, leaving a swatch of messy collagen fibers that are working to patch you back together. Beauty is only skin deep? Well, our scars go ALL the way through.

The disorganization of the scab on the surface mimics the layers beneath. The best way to help the tissues reorganize so they can remain functional – and not just a gob of stuff – is to move, touch, and manipulate them. This can be done with your hands or your trusty Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls. Obviously, you want to wait until the tissue has healed before you start poking at it, but once the external wound has healed (and you have your doctor’s ok) go for it.

You can also prep your tissues pre-surgery by massaging your body into a totally compliant and resilient one. This will create an environment overall that is more balanced and ready for healing. When there is good hydration, blood flow, and nutrition in your tissues, they are more likely to not only handle the stress of surgery with flying colors, but also repair more efficiently, post-operatively. 

So before you decide to go under the knife, be sure that the injury truly is unbearable. Your need for surgery could possibly be resolved, or at least delayed, by helping the surrounding tissues improve their elasticity and strength to support the injured area. Your body is an amazing piece of machinery. It will find work-around’s and patches for most of the destruction it deals with daily, so give it a chance to do its thing!