Returning Home after Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacements are some of the most common surgical procedures done in the U.S. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that over 1.7 million hip and knee replacement procedures occurred last year. Joint replacement surgery can improve mobility, lessen pain, and help you return to activities and hobbies.
Today many candidates can qualify for outpatient joint replacement, spending one night or less in the hospital to begin recovery at home. It is essential to prepare yourself and your home so that you are set up for success after hip and knee replacement surgeries.
For the first few weeks after the surgery, take precautions to protect the new joint. This preparation will ensure the new joint will function properly for many years and decades to come. The medical team will give you plenty of instructions on how to manage medications and surgical incisions. One's post-surgery well-being will depend on how safely they get around at home in the first days and weeks after the procedure.
Here is a preparation checklist for returning home after a joint replacement.
Choose a Support Team: You will need help during the recovery. Asking friends or family before the surgery to assist with rides, help with meals, and basic care can help alleviate extra worry and stress.
Prepare The House: Post-surgery, it will take a while to get back to your previous state of mobility. Making the house as safe as possible can help you navigate comfortably. Moving furniture, rearranging cabinets to make things convenient, and avoiding stairs can help aid in recovery.
Remove Tripping Hazards: Depending on the joint replacement procedure, expect to be shuffling your feet for a while as you get used to the new hip or knee. It is best to remove all loose rugs, floor mats, wires, and other small objects that are likely to be tripped over.
Use Assistive Devices: Using a walker and a few other gadgets to perform some of life's little tasks without losing your balance is essential. These include sock donners, long-handled shoe horns, and handy grabbers that extend your reach and can help keep you safe from a fall and over-exertion.
Elevate The Feet: Try to elevate your feet whenever sitting and lying down. This will reduce swelling and promote faster healing of tissue around the hip or knee.
Buying things like night lights, ice packs, and comfortable athletic shoes with good traction will also make your recovery at home safer. By following these tips, you will be able to recover in the comfort of your own home safely.