The Road to Recovery
Joint replacement surgery is the standard treatment for people who have osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. As individuals age, the wear-and-tear on their joints can often cause their bones to rub against each other, which can cause significant discomfort, pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The three most common joints that require surgery are the knees, hips, and shoulders. With technological advancements, joint replacement surgery has become minimally invasive and requires shorter hospital stays and recovery times. The success rates of these surgeries are extremely high; however, the recovery period is crucial to the success of the procedure.
Here are some tips to prepare for a successful recovery:
Schedule Prehab Appointments
Prehab, or preoperative rehabilitation, is the participation in physical therapy before an upcoming joint replacement surgery. Scheduling prehab appointments has many benefits, such as:
- Acceleration of post-operative rehabilitation.
- Assistance with pain management prior to surgery.
- Assessment of range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
- Strengthening the muscles to prepare for upcoming surgery.
Preparing your mind and body for an upcoming surgery is a key component to the overall outcome of the procedure. By attending prehab, you will become familiar with what exercises you will need to perform after your surgery. It also gives you the opportunity to speak with your physical therapist about the proper usage of assistive devices and how to prepare your home after surgery.
Prepare Your Home
There are various ways to prepare your home before your surgery to ensure a smoother recovery period.
Prior to surgery, dedicate time to cleaning your home and making significant space for you to move about comfortably. This may mean rearranging some furniture and removing electrical cords out of harm's way. Rugs are also a common tripping hazard, so it is recommended to pick up any that may be in your walking path until you are completely healed.
Install Fall Prevention Equipment
Aside from decluttering, there are other preventative measures you can take to make your home comfortable and safe after your surgery. These include:
- Installing nightlights.
- Using a raised toilet seat.
- Installing a handrail in the bathtub or shower and next to the toilet.
Prepare a Recovery Area
After your surgery, you may have mobility limitations. Find a comfortable place in your home that makes other areas easy to access. This area should be easy to relax in but also be high enough to stand up and sit down with ease. You may also want to keep a table close by with any necessities such as your phone, glasses, TV remote, books, and water.
Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
Moving your body after surgery is vital to a successful outcome. Before leaving the hospital, a physical therapist will discuss helpful healing techniques to help decrease the pain and swelling. After being discharged from the hospital, it is critical that you continue physical therapy.
Your post-surgery physical therapist will tailor exercises to meet your needs and progressively increase your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. This may also include balance training and functional training.
Physical Therapy at COR Medical Centers
The physical therapists at COR Medical Centers want to help you get back to living a life you love. Our skillful team will evaluate your needs and create an individualized treatment plan to restore your health and functionality to the highest degree possible.
To schedule an appointment with our physical therapy team, contact us online, or call our office at (800) 267-2072.