5 Things To Know About Using Steroids For Recovering From Surgery

When a serious shoulder or knee injury requires surgery, it's a natural response to look for as many treatments as possible that can shorten your recovery time and make sure everything heals correctly. Steroids can play a big role in surgery recovery, but there are also risks to using these drugs for this particular purpose. Find out what's been proven to work, how different steroids offer different functions, and why you should plan your recovery carefully.

Cast Immobilization

If a rotator cuff surgery or knee replacement will have you wearing a cast or even resting in traction for months at a time, you'll experience muscle atrophy that will slow down your rehabilitation practice once the cast comes off. Research dating back to 1999 shows that injections of anabolic steroids can prevent this atrophy and keep muscles in similar mass and strength condition as before the cast was applied. Of course, there are side effects associated with the steroids used for this treatment, so you'll need to work with your doctor to decide if maintaining mass and strength is worth going through the injections.

Injection Timing

Aside from keeping muscle condition from deteriorating, injecting steroids into the muscle tissue that is healing after a surgery can also boost the strength and durability of that tissue. However, it's not as simple as taking a regular dose daily and expecting results. Research found that the steroids had to be administered directly to the surgical site and at the right intervals during healing for the desired effect. It's a complex process you won't be able to handle on your own, and most sports doctors are not familiar with this kind of treatment.

Separate Categories

Don't confuse the two types of steroids when talking to your doctor about recovery options. The first class, corticosteroids, are widely used in injury and surgery recovery. They're a class of drugs used to reduce inflammation and the pain it causes, so most people who go through a joint or tendon repair surgery experience a round of these injections as they're healing. Anabolic steroids are the kind used to gain muscle mass. They still have some therapeutic use for recovery because they increase blood flow to the muscles, but they're more controversial and have less evidence behind their use. These steroids are separated into legal and illegal categories, although doctors are allowed to prescribe the illegal types for genuine recovery purposes.

Anti-Inflammatory Treatment

While it's corticosteroids that are primarily used for controlling inflammation, there are a few different anabolic steroids known for their abilities to control inflammation as well. While almost any anabolic steroid has the potential to assist in healing by keeping the surgical site well-supplied with blood, these steroids go the extra mile by preventing inflammation that reduces your body's healing rate. These steroids, including nandrolone decanoate, are all prescription only, so you'll have to stick with just increased muscle recovery if you're trying to use only legal steroids you can acquire on your own.

Blood Loss

Finally, increasing the body's generation of new red blood cells is one of the most time tested therapeutic uses for anabolic steroids. If you have a bleeding disorder or were taking supplements and medications before surgery that caused you to lose a lot of blood, your doctor may give you a prescription to help you boost your recovery without falling into anemia. Don't worry if you're taking steroids for a few weeks for rebuilding your blood supply. The side effects common to these treatments, such as liver damage, are unlikely to affect you during such a short term of treatment, as long as you follow your doctor's instructions.

For more information about your options, contact a company like SDI Labs.

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