What to Expect
Before the surgery, seek out assistance from a family member or friend. You will need a caregiver after the surgery and the following weeks, who can help with:
- Mobility: Patients will have poor mobility, so rooms should be decluttered.
- Staying active: People need to adjust to their replacement, so daily mobility is a must.
- Minimizing pain: Keep irritation at a minimum by icing regularly and elevating the wound site. Elevation prevents blood from gathering around the surgical site and becoming inflamed.
- Physical therapy: Patients may have poor dexterity and flexibility initially after surgery because of tissue inflammation, which is the body's healing mechanism. Physical therapy and increased movement can help restore blood flow to the area and allow your body to adjust to the new changes.
- Wound care: Proper cleaning of the site and rest will help protect the wound from bacteria. Overextension can cause the wound site to reopen.
- Daily tasks: People should not overextend the joint or bend it initially after surgery. Keep items close by so you do not have to overreach. Certain hip and knee surgery recovery products can act as an extender so you do not have to.
Prepare Your Home
Surgery is exhausting, so recovery should be an enjoyable process. There are various areas of the home that can be adjusted to keep you comfortable and happy.
Comfort bathroom aids can help with daily tasks. Install grab bars to easily get in and out of the bathtub. Hip and knee surgery make it difficult to stand for long periods of time - shower chairs will allow you to rest painful, recovering joints. Set up a raised toilet seat to prevent overextension.
Since mobility is encouraged in recovery, it is important to invest in a walker or cane to help support your leg. You may not think you need it, but easing pressure on the joint can help it heal without irritation and pain. Keep mobility devices within reach.
Overreaching can cause the surgical site to reopen, and can seem difficult to avoid. Invest in dressing aid products like shoehorns, sock aids and zipper-pull tools to allow you to dress independently without hassle.