Arthroplasty, or joint replacement surgery, removes damaged joint components and installs synthetic parts made of high-tech metals and plastics. The most common areas where joint replacement surgeries occur are the knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.
Let’s look at four things you should do before joint replacement surgery.
1. Enlist a Helper
Ask a reliable relative or friend to assist you with your recovery from joint replacement surgery. Help includes driving you to and from your procedure and helping you through several days of care once you come home.
Care should be tailored to your specific post-op needs. For instance, many people need assistance, for at least a limited period of time, with bathing, going to the bathroom, and dressing. Meal preparation, pain medication management, running errands, and keeping the household tidy all require an extra set of eyes and hands.
What you will need help with will depend on your specific surgery. So, be sure to follow your doctor’s discharge instructions carefully – or ask what type of assistance you should begin lining up prior to the procedure.
2. Exercise as Your Doctor Advises
You want to be in the best physical shape possible before your joint replacement. So, stay as active as you can within your tolerance levels. Walking and swimming strengthen your cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and strength. Ask your orthopedic specialist what activities you should engage in, or if you should go to physical therapy before your procedure.
3. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day – which is a good rule of thumb in any case – and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Lean meats, fish, and poultry provide essential protein, and low-fat dairy products can deliver bone-building calcium. Fiber intake helps you avoid constipation and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
If you are diabetic, be sure to understand how to take your medications before and after your arthroplasty. Your primary care physician is your best resource for managing chronic conditions like diabetes, as well as asthma, high blood pressure, anemia, and others.
4. Modify Your Household and Daily Routines
Most people who have a joint replacement surgery want to know when they can resume driving, work, sexual activity, climbing stairs, and more. Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you about your unique restrictions and when you can return to normal routines.
Regarding the physical environment at home, arrange your bedroom or living room so you have the essentials within easy reach:
- TV remote
- Reading glasses
Also, be sure to declutter your home ahead of time. Remove anything that may trip you, and make sure your path to the bathroom is well-lit.
Regarding meal preparation, errands, and returning to the Advanced Bone & Joint office for follow-up appointments with your doctor, have a designated helper take care of these tasks. Stock up on essentials, such as routine medications, food and toiletries, in advance so your household runs smoothly, and you experience less stress and more success as you recover.
Advanced Bone & Joint in St. Charles County, MO
Our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons deliver the finest operative solutions for joint injury and disease. Our arthroplasty patients receive excellent preparation ahead of their surgeries as well as the follow-up needed to manage any pain, speed their recovery, and help improve use of their new joints.
If you and your primary care provider think joint replacement may be in your future, contact one of our three offices in St. Peters, O’Fallon, and Wentzville, Missouri, to learn more about your joint replacement options.
Contact Advanced Bone & Joint by calling(636) 229-4222 or request your consultation appointment now.