Prepare for Joint Replacement Surgery and Post-Surgery Recovery Post-operative recovery at home will promote physical healing with rest and recovery from the stress of surgery. For patients who undergo Total Joint Replacement surgery, the home recovery period will also involve very important rehabilitation to regain musculoskeletal function. Emotional and psychological recovery from this life-altering surgery will also take place during the home recovery period. Preparation for JR Two important pre-surgical considerations prior to Hospital Admission Pre-Hab: a term used to strengthen and condition the required musculoskeletal region prior to surgery. These therapeutic exercises will better prepare your body to handle the Rehabilitative Phase of Surgical Recovery. In Home Safety Check the purpose is to create a safe, practical environment for Rehabilitation. Fall prevention measures should be taken to ensure safety. See below for a detailed checklist to make sure your home is best prepared for your post-operative recovery. We urge you to follow these steps prior to surgery. Post-Surgery Discharge from the Hospital When you are discharged, you will receive written instructions from your surgeon on restrictions and recommendations for post-operative recovery at home. A nurse will usually review these instructions with you and answer any questions and concerns. Restrictions and recommendations outlined in home recovery instructions may include Exertion restrictions: Your doctor will let you know if you should refrain from lifting heavy objects, climbing stairs, having sex, or participating in other potentially strenuous activities Exercise recommendations: If movement, stretches, or exercise is encouraged as part of recovery, you will be given a guide with recommended exercises. You may also be assigned a physical therapist to assist you with regaining range of motion, strength, and mobility Driving restrictions: You may be prohibited from driving for a period of time due to functional limitations and/or to medication that impairs your driving ability. If you live in the United States, you should qualify for door to door bus service in your community service area during your recovery. Call your Regional Transportation Authority, they will send you an application, and tell you where to call for your interview. Take medical verification with your surgery date. It will speed up the process. If you live alone this is a wonderful service for doctor appointments, therapy, and shopping. Work restrictions: Depending on the nature of your job, you may be required to stay off of work or request alternate duties until recovery is complete. Social restrictions:Patients at high risk of complications from infection may be advised to avoid anyone with a cold or flu and to stay away from crowds or social gatherings during the initial recovery period. Medication recommendations: Prescription and/or over the counter drugs may be recommended on an as-needed basis for pain and nausea. Other drugs may also be required Nutrition:Some loss of appetite is common for several weeks after surgery. A balanced diet, often with an iron supplement, is important to promote proper tissue healing and to restore muscle strength. Incision care: You will be instructed on how to care for your surgical incision and educated on signs of infection (i.e., redness, warmth, swelling, fever, odor). Home care needs:Some patients may require a visiting nurse or live-in health aid for a period of time as they recover from surgery. Adaptive equipment:Assistive or adaptive devices such as crutches, a walker, prosthetics, or bed or bathroom hand rails may be necessary. Follow-up with your Surgeon:Your surgeon will let you know when to schedule a follow-up appointment. You should also be given criteria for warning signs and symptoms that may occur with the procedure you've had, and when to call your surgeon if they do appear. Aftercare - The Post-Operative Period This is a time of healing, both physical and emotional. Joint Replacement Surgery is a personal and family decision, and setting realistic goals and expectations is very important. Patients who face a long recovery and rehabilitation period may feel depressed or anxious about their situation. It is important you have realistic expectations; listen to your healthcare providers. Their experience will help you from doing too much too early. Create a calendar and record your daily progress. Relatives: seek support from relatives and friends. Faced with restrictions to movement, driving, and possibly more, a patient needs someone at home to assist them with the daily tasks of living. Rehabilitation: now that you are recovering at home, use the extra time to perform therapeutic exercises DAILY. Use a daily interactive program to augment your physical therapist's home visits. The importance of guided exercise cannot be stressed enough. Following the exercise program set up for your recovery is the KEY to your rehabilitation and regaining good range of motion. Recovery: consumes a short amount of time compared to enormous quality of life change you are about to experience. Follow your healthcare provider & advice and help reduce the risk of setbacks. Results: you play a very important role in your implant outcome or success. Good outcomes require a commitment to health, fitness and diet. Home Safety Evaluation: Recommendations to Prepare Your Home for your Post-Surgical Recovery Attempt to live on the main level of your house Make sure that level has bathroom facilities (multiple daily stair climbing may be tiresome and stress your body too much) Place all necessary things within easy reach, such as on a table: a telephone with important phone numbers, TV remote, notepad, newspapers and magazines consider, a covered (sports) drinking bottle proper lighting and a clean house are important during your recovery bedding dressing toiletries grooming Kitchen non-perishable foods and cleaning supplies should be moved to heights between the waist and shoulder place perishables in freezer or refrigerate, avoid lower meat/vegetable chillers consider long handled dust pan Floors rugs must be removed, even under table types carpet should be tacked down clear pathways from all unnecessary object consider width of a walker, cane and crutch Furniture identify a sturdy armed chair to sit in recliners are popular, make sure they height appropriate if bed is too low, requiring you to bend beyond 90 degrees, consider renting a hospital bed Bathrooms install raised toilet seat use a shower bench or seat consider safety rails for bathtub Stairs evaluate stairs inside and outside home for safety make sure handrails are tightened Medication have a detailed list of medication you are currently taking make you understand what meds you can take prior to surgery consider filling your post surgical meds prior to hospital admission Household pets reminder ; consider your safety and pets well-being while you are in recovery. Support identify your primary care giver, spouse, family member or friend OrthoCareRN The information in this article was provided by OrthoCareRN. Home Recovery is an encouraged medical practice. HomeCare for BoneCare provides the tools for Independent Home Recovery.