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Daily Activity Tips After Joint Replacement

Dressing

  • Elastic shoes laces or Velcro shoes can eliminate the need for tying shoes.

  • Loose fitting clothes, without fasteners may be easier to get on and off.

Bathing

  • A long handled sponge can you help you safely wash your lower legs and back.

  • A hand held shower nozzle can help with showering if a bench or shower chair is being used.

  • Keep your hand (surgical side) on the walker when standing or sitting.

  • Reach or push up from the sitting surface with your other hand.

Toileting

  • Use of adaptive equipment may be necessary to complete personal hygiene initially, following surgery.

  • Do not sit on a low toilet.

  • Use a raised toilet seat or 3-in-1 commode over the toilet.

  • Back up to the toilet with your walker and sit/stand up.

In/Out of Bed

  • Avoid using a low bed.

  • Generally, it is less painful to exit the bed on the non-surgical side.

  • Follow all post-operative precautions, if applicable.

Car Entry

  • Move the car seat back and recline the back rest slightly.

  • Back up to the car with your walker and sit keeping your surgical leg extended.

Being Active

Exercise is a big part of having a more active, comfortable life.

Exercise and active movement helps prevent:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of a leg, arm or pelvis.

  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is a clot that breaks off and travels to the lungs.

It is important for you to follow the exercise program given to you and to attend your scheduled physical therapy appointments.

Home Therapy Exercises

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons has created excellent resource for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements.  These resources include video instructions for at home physical therapy exercises after hip and knee replacement.  The step-by-step guides are available in English, Spanish, and Hindi.

https://hipknee.aahks.org/physical-therapy-exercises-after-hip-replacement/

https://hipknee.aahks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/hip-exercises-print-guide.pdf

https://hipknee.aahks.org/physical-therapy-after-knee-replacement-video/

https://hipknee.aahks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/knee-exercises-print-guide.pdf

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need help at home after surgery?

You will need someone in your home with you for at least 24 hours after your surgery.

Will I need physical therapy when I go home?

You will begin the step by step at home exercises immediately after surgery and will continue at home for 4 to 6 weeks.  Additionally, your doctor will prescribe physical therapy after your surgery. 

Should I practice the post-operative exercises at home exercises before surgery?

Definitely.  These at home exercises improve strength and motion to help assure the best results from the surgery.

 

After leaving Kaizen Surgery Center, when do I see my surgeon again?

You should have an appointment to see your surgeon one week after your surgery.

When can I drive?

Usually 3-4 weeks after your surgery.  You must also be off all narcotic pain medications.

When can I return to work?

Returning to work is highly dependent on your general health, your activity level and progress during physical therapy/rehabilitation and the demands of your job.

What about going to the Dentist?

You should discuss with your dentist that you have had a total joint replacement.  Prior to any dental procedure, including cleaning, you may need to take a short course of antibiotics to help prevent infection.

Sex After Knee or Hip Replacement

Joint pain, stiffness and deformity can limit sexual activity if you have hip or knee arthritis. Hip arthritis is known to limit sexual activity more than knee arthritis. It is important to set realistic expectations and learn how to safely resume sexual activity after joint replacement while avoiding complications. In general, most people can safely resume sexual intercourse between one and three months after surgery.

 

Be aware that certain positions during sex may lead to complications for you and your implant.

 

Please use the link below for more detailed information on returning to sexual activity following a total hip or knee replacement.  Information is available in English, Spanish, and Hindi.

https://hipknee.aahks.org/a-guide-to-returning-to-sexual-activity-following-total-hip-and-knee-replacement/

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