After having replacement surgery on the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow or other joint, expect your quality of life to improve. As you go through your recovery and rehabilitation, your orthopedic surgeon and support team will help transition you to your new normal.
Here are tips for success as you make the journey to better musculoskeletal health and function.
Control Post-op Pain and Follow Your Therapist’s Instructions
You will have some post-operative pain after your arthroplasty procedure. After all, this is major surgery as your doctor has removed damaged bone and cartilage and put new joint components in place.
Take your pain medications as prescribed and expect to transition to over-the-counter pain relievers quickly.
Also, realize that ambulation and use of your operated joint begins right away in the hospital and then continues in your rehab facility, home or outpatient clinic depending on your individual health needs and therapeutic goals.
Your physical therapist will show you how to safely move your new joint, how to inspect and care for your incision site and how to accomplish activities of daily living, such as:
- Bathing and using the bathroom
- Entering and exiting a car
- Climbing and descending stairs
- How to sleep comfortably and safely (including positioning your operated joint)
- Putting on and taking off braces, slings and other supportive devices
- Using DME, such as crutches, a cane or a walker as needed
Keep all doctor and therapy appointments and do your at-home exercises regularly and accurately. Report any concerns to your doctor so they can make any needed changes to your care plan.
Get At-home Help
Your spouse, a trusted friend or reliable aide should assist you with dressing, bathing, meals, laundry and errands until you are strong and stable enough to resume normal activities.
Do not shower, bathe, drive, lift, go to the gym, or do other strenuous activities until your orthopedic surgeon OKs them. Do not return to work unless your doctor clears you.
Call Your Doctor If Your Operated Joint Changes
That means if pain increases over the course of days to weeks, notify your orthopedic specialist right away. Also, notify your surgeon if you see signs of infection at the incision, such as redness, drainage, fever or swelling.
Communication with your orthopedic specialist, PCP and physical therapist will help keep your recovery and rehabilitation process on track.
In other words, take things slowly and easily and you will recover without injury or infection.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods while you recover. Instead, select high-fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, seafood and meats. Drink plenty of water daily.
Also, to promote good healing and blood circulation, you should avoid smoking and limit alcohol and caffeine. Take vitamins and supplements only as your orthopedic surgeon directs.
Joint Replacement in St. Charles County, Missouri
Whether you have suffered a traumatic injury in a car accident or a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow has advanced osteoarthritis, we can help with the latest and most successful surgical and non-operative treatments.
Our outstanding support staff works hard to make our extensive list of services as easily accessible and timely as possible.