Thinking about hip or knee replacement?
Hip and Knee Replacement
If you've been considering hip or knee replacement consider yourself lucky. Just a generation ago if you suffered from joint degeneration treatment was iffy at best.
Today, thousands of joint resurfacing and replacement surgeries are performed annually with amazing results. Most people are able to resume an active lifestyle, needing only to make sure that they maintain overall good health.
In addition to speaking with your doctor or therapist, KneeReplacement.com, operated by DePuy Othopedics is also an excellent informant of post-surgery care.
Getting Back On Your Feet
Almost immediately after your surgery, you'll begin rehabilitation therapy. Rehabilitation starts within a few hours after surgery and can continue for three months or longer. During this time you will learn how to safely use your new knee joint and how to return to normal activities.
Within 24 hours of your surgery, you will begin walking with an assistive device such as a walker or crutches. Your physical therapist will teach you the safest methods for getting in and out of bed, chairs and up and down stairs. He or she will also ask about your home environment to develop an exercise plan that prepares you for your return there.
You will learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles in your leg and increase movement in your knee. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you use a rehabilitative machine that gently bends and straightens your knee.
Keep up with your exercises. Be sure to follow the directions of your therapist.
Engage in lower-stress physical activities such as hiking, biking, stationary skiing and swimming. Ask your physician or physical therapist before engaging in any strenuous activity. Don't participate in high-impact activities that have a high risk of injury.
Take Care of Yourself
Full recovery from knee or hip replacement surgery can take several months; don't push yourself too hard. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Speak to your healthcare practitioner about the benefits of a cold therapy device as an alternative to frozen peas. Cold therapy units like the Breg Polar Care line of cold therapy units have been therapeutically proven to ease pain and swelling and speed healing.
- Take care of your lungs. The tissues of your body need plenty of oxygen to heal properly. If your lungs are not exercised properly, it can lead to poor blood oxygen levels and may even cause pneumonia.
- Manage your pain as directed. Be sure to take pain medications only as prescribed by your doctor. If you are dissatisfied with how your medication is relieving your pain be sure to tell your doctor.
- Control swelling to help reduce pain, improve your circulation and range of motion. Put ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag, wrap it in a towel to prevent burning your skin and apply to your knee. You should also elevate your knee. One of the easiest ways to do this is to lie In bed, using pillows to lift your knee above the elevation of your heart.
- It's important to get plenty of sleep to help you recover. If you are having problems sleeping, speak to your doctor. He or she can recommend an over-the-counter sleep aid or prescribe medication to help you.
- Don't twist your knee. Instead, turn your entire body to avoid stress on your knee. Avoid any jarring forces such as lifting heavy objects.
- Don't schedule dental work or surgical procedures on your bladder or colon without consulting your surgeon first. These can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream and may lead to infection in your new joint. Before you have any procedures done, be sure to discuss them with your surgeon. Also, make sure every doctor you visit knows about your knee replacement surgery so they can take the appropriate precautions.