After having a joint replacement, you may expect to be able to return to the lifestyle you had before surgery, but this can take some time. It is important to stay committed to your recovery plan so that your recovery process can be as smooth as possible.
- Plan ahead: If possible, even before you have your surgery, plan ahead. The more prepared you are prior to your surgery, the more successful you will be in your recovery. Think about if it would be helpful to have someone with you during the days and nights as you recover, and plan out activities you can do while you are resting and recovering.
- Use your joint as much as possible: While it may be painful at times to use your new joint, it is important to be using it as much as possible to help ease some of the stiffness you may be feeling.
- Stick to your medication schedule: It is important to stay ahead of the pain and be consistent with taking your prescribed medication.
- Flex the joint too far: While it is important to be active when possible, do not move or stretch your joint outside of its limits. If you are unsure about this, ask your doctor or physical therapy team about what movements are natural and unnatural after your surgery.
- Sleep or lay on the surgery side of your body: Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your joint so that it has proper time to heal.
- Lean forward or bend down to pick up items: Use an assistive device if you need to pick something up from the ground or have a family member or friend around to assist with these types of things.
After joint replacement surgery, it is most important to listen and follow the instructions from your doctor and physical therapy team. They will have the best tips and tricks to follow while you are recovering from your surgery.
If you are experiencing joint pain or have questions about recovering from a joint replacement, request an appointment online with one of our joint replacement surgeons at Appalachian Orthopedics or call (423) 434-6300.