Joint replacement surgery is a very beneficial procedure for those who need it. While it is a safe procedure, it is still considered major surgery. You will likely need extensive time to heal, and during this time, there will be movement restrictions to adhere to.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect.
Why Do I Need Joint Replacement Surgery?
Millions of people in the United States alone struggle with the pain and immobility arthritis and traumatic injury can cause in joints. Often, pain relieving medications, assistive devices, and physical therapy aren’t sufficient at relieving pain and improving joint mobility.
So, joint replacement surgery becomes the best treatment option. While knee and hip joints are the most common replacements, orthopedic doctors also replace ankles, wrists, shoulder, and elbows. These procedures:
- Halt further joint damage
- Relieve or limit joint pain
- Improve range of motion, balance, and strength
- Get people back to their daily lives and favorite activities
After reviewing your health history, past treatments for your orthopedic problem, and symptoms, a physical exam and X-rays will tell your joint replacement surgeon if you need one of these state-of-the-art procedures, including robotic-assisted surgery.
What Will My Movement Restrictions Be After My Surgery?
That’s a great question, and one asked by all our patients. Let’s look at some general post-operative expectations.
After a total joint replacement, you may expect to be in the hospital for two to five days. Your physical therapist and other members of your care team will want you up and moving, with assistance, soon after your procedure. Movement promotes healing, relieves stiffness, manages pain, and avoids blood clots associated with too much bed rest.
Also, you will begin a routine schedule of rehabilitation. You’ll learn how to use a brace and assistive devices for walking and receive instructions for dressing, bathing, standing up and sitting down safely.
Then, depending on your specific joint replacement, you’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of daily life with your new joint. Let’s look at the hip and the knee as examples.
- Do not cross your legs at the knees or the ankles.
- Do not toe-in or toe-out when sitting or standing. Point toes straight ahead.
- Do not stretch to retrieve anything in the shower. Use a mechanical reacher, as needed.
- Do not lift your leg at the knee to put on your socks and shoes.
- Dress the operated side of your body first.
- Avoid long flights of stairs for a few months. When you do use stairs, hold the railing. Go up with your non-operated leg and down with your operated leg.
- When entering a car, turn your back to the seat and sit down slowly. Do not enter one leg first, followed by the other.
- Do not bend your hip joint beyond 90 degrees.
- Do not cross your legs at the knees or ankles. Keep both feet planted squarely on the floor.
- Do not bend far forward at the waist to retrieve something.
- Limit the number of times you go up and down stairs or get in or out of a car.
- Enter a car with your back to the seat, and swing both legs in simultaneously.
- Use a raised toilet seat and a chair with arms.
- Climb stairs with your non-operated leg first, and come down stairs with your operated leg first.
Your joint replacement surgeon will give you further instructions on when to return to work, drive, and partake in other activities. In general, swimming, walking, golfing, and biking are the safest and most therapeutic sporting activities for joint replacement patients.
Joint Replacement Surgery in Naples, FL
At Joint Replacement Institute in Naples, joint replacement surgery is our specialty. So, of course, we will answer all your questions and address all your concerns. We want to make your life with a new, functional joint as easy as possible. We have a highly qualified team of surgeons and support staff to help.
Call us today at (239) 261-2663 for a consultation. Also, you may request an appointment online.