Whether it be knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery, there are a few key facts to know and important tasks to do to get ready for joint replacement surgery. Knowing what to expect in recovery is also very important.
Ask your doctor about preparing for the surgery prior to your scheduled operation day. Then before your surgery, prepare for your recovery at home:
- Make arrangements for rides from the hospital and to doctor appointments, and for picking up prescriptions and groceries.
- Rearrange objects you’ll need frequently, such as clothes, toiletries, and cooking items where they can be reached without bending or stretching.
- Www.SutterHealth.org suggests getting a Disabled Handicapped Parking Sticker for your car ahead of time. Get the forms from the Department of Motor Vehicles and have your doctor sign them before your surgery.
- Reduce the chance of potential trips or falls by removing extension cords, plants, throw rugs, etc. from hallways and entryways. Make sure you have a wide, uncluttered path through your home.
- Www.mayoclinic.org advises to centralize your sleeping quarters on the ground floor, near your kitchen and bath, since climbing stairs may not be possible the first few weeks.
- Prepare yourself for a life-changing medical procedure by strengthening yourself physically. Get proper nutrition and stop smoking. Rest as much as possible. Prepare yourself mentally by realizing that pain will be part of your recovery.
What to expect after joint replacement surgery:
- Be sure to follow all the doctor’s orders. Infections and blood clots are real risks. Exercise your ankles and feet, and use support stockings if they are prescribed.
- Accept that you will be disabled for a few weeks and you will need help for minor tasks. You will need someone to stay with you if you live alone, to help you shower, eat, and get in and out of bed and around the home.
- You will need a lot of rest after joint replacement surgery. You will have medications for the pain, but you may still be uncomfortable for the first few days.
- You’ll need someone to drive you to appointments. You will not be able to drive for several weeks.
- Use pillows to allow sitting comfortably, and be sure your chair is sturdy. Have a raised toilet seat with handles ready in your bathroom.
Joint replacement surgery is a major event and life changing. You will be able to do more things after the recovery. But being ready, and knowing what to expect, will help you through the surgery and help you recover totally.
Written by: Ruby Holder Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer