5 Things They Don’t Tell You Before A Joint Replacement

Whether you’re preparing yourself for a total joint replacement, or a loved one is having his/her joint replaced there is always more to learn:

  1. They will get you up the DAY you have surgery: Within minutes to a couple hours after getting up to the medical-surgical floor, an inpatient physical therapist will be in your room to help you learn to walk again. This not only helps you gain confidence, but also helps to prevent blood clots.
  2. There will be pain, and at times it will seem unbearable: The first couple days in the hospital are the most important time stay on top of your pain medication. This will allow you not only to work with therapies to get stronger, but to also help you sleep (which will improve the healing process).
  3. Time to reorganize your house: Throw rugs? Get rid of them (for a little while). Upstairs bedroom? Move downstairs. Cords? Hide them to avoid tripping. You will also learn very quickly the wonders of a raised toilet seat and a ramp to get into the house (if possible).
  4. Total join replacements are not just for geriatric age-range: There are MANY individuals that are MUCH younger that need a joint replacement for diagnoses such as rheumatoid arthritis and hip dysplasia.
  5. The importance of “pre-hab”: It is so important to strengthen the muscles that will be under the knife. The stronger your body is before surgery, the more likely your recovery with be easier. Even if you had surgery on a lower extremity, it is important to strengthen your upper body as well (think walkers/crutches).