Understand Your Treatment
Be PreparedLearn More
Life After SurgeryLearn More
Find A Physican In Your AreaLearn More
Modern surgery is often successful, especially surgeries that address bone and joint pain and dysfunctions. With a new knee or hip, your pain can be reduced greatly. Previous problems such as walking, climbing stairs, squatting, bending, rotating your body – all become so much easier once you have a new hip or knee joint. But first you have to have the surgery and work through rehabilitation to get to the new you.
The good news is that you are not on your own. The most important support will be the help from your primary caregiver(s) – your spouse or partner, children, other family members, friends or neighbors. This care can also be provided by a paid home healthcare aide for either full time or part time support.
Besides primary care support, others may be able tol help you through the harder times and help you achieve your recovery goals.
A visiting nurse can come to your home several times during the first week or two of your recovery and rehabilitation. The visiting nurse will:
• Assess your physical condition and recovery
• Check your vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart functioning, etc.)
• Review your medications
• Answer any questions you might have
Quick Tip: Keep a notebook to write down questions you want to ask the nurse as you think of them – before the nurse visits.
Physical therapy is to get you moving as quickly as possible. Your commitment and complete cooperation with your assigned physical therapy program is essential. A physical therapist will:
• Review the physical therapy program that you started while in the hospital
• Measure and record the progress you make towards improving range of motion
• Check how you are performing your exercises, using a walker or crutches, navigating steps and much more
• Watch how you are using therapy equipment sent home with you
• Adapt your program to your specific situation now that you are home
• Help you adapt your surroundings at home to ensure your safety while moving around and doing your exercises
Quick Tip: Do your exercises every day. Don’t wait for the physical therapist to motivate you. Moving is key to a quick recovery, provided it is recommended by your surgeon.
Occupational therapy helps you with the activities of daily living. In some cases, an occupational therapist will be part of your care team. An occupational therapist will:
• Assess your home and suggest how to make improvements or adapt your home
• Teach you how to get in and out of your bed, navigate steps, bathe and take care of other personal needs
• Help you re-learn how to do activities of daily living such as cooking, light housekeeping and more
• Work with you to develop strategies to carry out daily activities
Quick Tip: Work with your occupational therapist to strategize on how to pace yourself as you progress in your recovery.
To read more about the many supportive services for joint replacement patients, please consult one of the Internet-based resources below.