Back-to-School Survival Guide for Parents Recovering from Orthopedic Surgery


The back-to-school season is a whirlwind of activity for any parent, filled with shopping for supplies, coordinating transportation schedules, and managing the excitement (and sometimes anxiety) of their children. But for parents recovering from orthopedic surgery, this time of year presents a unique set of challenges. Juggling recovery with the demands of a new school year can feel overwhelming, but with the right strategies and support, it’s entirely possible to successfully navigate both.


Understanding the importance of rest and recovery

Orthopedic surgeries, whether for the knee, hip, shoulder, or other bones or joints, require a significant amount of rest and rehabilitation for optimal healing. This can be particularly difficult when you’re also responsible for getting your children ready for and off to school each day. It’s important to remember that your recovery is a priority, not just for your own well-being, but also for your ability to effectively care for your family.

Talk to your doctor about realistic expectations for your recovery timeline and the level of activity you can safely handle. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your partner, family members, friends, or neighbors. Consider hiring a temporary caregiver if your budget allows.


Planning for the school year

A little preparation can go a long way in easing the transition back to school while you’re recovering. Sit down with your children and discuss your limitations. Explain that you might need their help with certain tasks around the house or with younger siblings.

Create a detailed schedule that outlines your children’s school routines, extracurricular activities, and your own therapy appointments. This will help you visualize your week and identify potential conflicts or areas where you might need extra support.

If your surgery impacts your mobility, consider arranging transportation to and from school for your children if they don’t ride the bus and they’re not old enough to get there themselves.


Back-to-school prep

  • Organize school supplies: Help your children gather and organize their school supplies before your surgery. This will lessen the stress of preparing for the new school year while you’re recovering.
  • Establish routines: Set up consistent routines for mornings, afternoons, and evenings. This will help your children stay organized and give them a sense of normalcy during your recovery.
  • Enlist help: Ask friends, family, or neighbors to assist with school drop-off or pick-up if needed.
  • Prioritize self-care: Make time for your own recovery, even if it’s just 15 minutes of gentle stretching or relaxation exercises each day.
  • Set realistic goals: Don’t expect to be back to your pre-surgery level of activity right away. Gradually increase your activity as you heal.



  • Communicate openly: Talk to your children, partner, and doctor about how you’re feeling, both physically and emotionally. Explain why you’ll need to rest and recover and how they can help.
  • Be honest about limitations: Let your children know what you won’t be able to do while recovering. Encourage them to be patient and understanding.
  • Plan activities together: Brainstorm activities you can enjoy together during your recovery, such as reading, watching movies, or playing board games.
  • Celebrate small victories: Acknowledge your progress, no matter how small it may seem.


Additional tips: 

  • Prepare your home for surgery: See 6 ways to surgery-proof your home
  • Prepare for the unexpected: Stock up on essential household items (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, etc.) in case you’re unable to go shopping for a while.
  • Arrange childcare: If you have young children, secure childcare assistance for the initial days or weeks of your recovery.
  • Keep a positive attitude: Your recovery will be smoother if you maintain a positive outlook and focus on your healing. Encourage your children to do the same.


Resources for parents

By prioritizing your recovery, planning ahead, and asking for help when needed, you can successfully navigate the back-to-school season and ensure your children have a smooth transition back to the classroom.

And if you are planning for surgery, know that Carrum Health members have access to the best possible care. We work with the top 10% of surgeons in the country, and the Carrum Health benefit typically includes a second opinion from one of these top-notch surgeons, at no cost to members.


If you’ve been recommended for surgery and have access to the Carrum Health benefit, we’ll be here to help every step of the way. For Carrum Health members, most, if not all, surgery costs are typically covered.


Contact us today and connect with a dedicated care specialist who will walk you through the entire process and answer any questions you may have, from your pre-surgery consultation to your recovery.

How Carrum Health Can Help
Carrum Health is a unique benefit that connects employees with the country’s top surgeons and specialists to receive high-quality care at a far lower cost. Find out if the Carrum Health benefit is available to you.