A major reason many put off a joint replacement surgery can be summed up in one word: fear.
Let’s be real here any joint replacement surgery is not easy nor minor.
The feeling of anxiety leading up to and going to surgery is normal, just don’t get consumed by the fear. It is known as preoperative or preoperational anxiety , is incredibly common. A lot of patients who know they will have surgery will start to experience it. Anxiety before surgery is essentially described as unpleasant stress, uneasiness, or tension that results from the fears and doubts of patients.
Speaking for myself , I get a bit anxious before any surgical procedure. I think it would be abnormal to not be a bit anxious. But I have taught myself ways to breathe, meditate and remain calm so the fear never consumes me because that type of fear seems unhealthy.
I personally haven’t needed a joint replacement as my osteonecrosis has been stage 1-2 for 6 years now that’s to prp injections and be changing the way I eat and take care of myself. But I have had pre surgical nerves before a few other surgeries.
I do believe in a positive attitude but I also believe in being educated on what is going to be happening to me.
What Causes Fear of Surgery?
There are numerous reasons why someone may be scared of surgery. The most common reasons are:
Fear of the unknown
Worrying about the surgery not working
Fear of the anesthetic
Having to recover around strangers
Not being able to recover
It is perfectly normal to experience pre-surgery anxiety. The intensity of this fear will depend on a range of factors, including:
The experiences people have had in hospitals in the past
Their personal psychology
Three Levels of Anxiety before Surgery
According to specialists, everyone experiences a degree of anxiety before going into spine surgery. However, they agree that there are three separate levels of that anxiety:
Low level, which happens in those people who are inclined to ignore any signs of impending danger. This can be anyone from the eternal optimist to someone with a schizoid personality disorder.
Moderate anxiety, which is seen in people who tend to respond directly to any information they are given. This means that the information provided about the potential complications of surgery is likely to make them scared of surgery, but this can rapidly be resolved by providing them with information on the rarity of these complications occurring.
High anxiety, found in people who have a neurotic predisposition or those who have an almost irrational fear of surgery and bodily harm.
The Impact of Pre Surgery Anxiety
Being afraid of going into surgery has an impact on people in a variety of different ways. These include:
Psychological effects, including cognitive and behavioral changes such as aggression, nervousness, apprehension, and tension. Sometimes, this makes the patients finding it impossible to follow instructions and others becoming so aggressive that they may pose a danger to others.
Physical effects, which include things such as heightened senses, nervous diarrhea before surgery, a fever, hypertension, and tachycardia. Peripheral vasoconstriction is also common
Tips on How to Stay Calm Before Surgery
Thankfully, there are numerous things that you can do in order to remain calm, or experience a healthy level of anxiety and no more, before a surgery.
When you feel anxious, you become fearful of others. Psychologically speaking, this actually translates into paranoia against yourself. You need to trust the fact that you know your own body and that you can listen to it and understand what it needs.
Develop trust in your medical team.
If you want to reduce your overall fear and anxiety, it is hugely important that you trust the practitioners involved in your care. Trust and anxiety are each other’s opposites. If you feel that you can trust the nurses and doctors who are trying to help you, then you will immediately start to feel in control again
Once you know what your medical condition is, you should research it properly. This can help you to overcome the fear of the surgery, the hospital, and the condition itself. At the same time, be aware of the fact that doing research about your medical condition can also increase anxiety.
Make use of relaxation techniques.
There are lots of good relaxation techniques you can use. Muscle relaxations, breathing exercises, meditations, are all excellent techniques.
Join a support group.
There are lots of really good support groups out there waiting to welcome you.
Understand is that it is ok to be afraid, we are human, just don’t allow the fear or anxiety you may be feeling control you.
Make sure you have pre planned for your surgery to make your home life easier when you return .If you had joint replacements, get rifd of all throw rugs so you don’t trip on them. Move objects from your path so you can use a walker with ease if necessary. Try some meditation, there are many things you can try to help calm you.
If you need support please join us if you have osteonecrosis aka avn
We at Avascular Necrosis / Osteonecrosis Support Int’l. will help you get through it, we are more of a family . And we know what your goin through.
Wishing you a pain free day