Coordinated Health

Tips for When You Return Home After a Joint Replacement Surgery

By: Steven Clemson, PT, DPT   November 20, 2017

After a joint replacement, your mobility will be limited for several weeks as your body recovers. Some patients may prefer to recuperate at an in-patient rehabilitation center, but many prefer the comforts of home. For most patients, recovering at home after joint replacement surgery is possible as long as you don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions that need to be monitored and you have someone who can stay with you. You’ll also need to be able to negotiate stairs before being cleared to leave the hospital. 

If you do plan to return home immediately after surgery, it’s a good idea to fall-proof your house. That includes:

  • Removing all throw rugs
  • Making sure cords are bundled out of pathways
  • Having someone keep pets out of the way when you’re entering the house, especially large dogs that could trip you up or jump on your incision site
  • Installing a shower chair 

Once you’re at home, you’ll also want to be mindful of the way you move around to prevent falls and injuries. Best practices include:

  • Moving slowly and cautiously
  • Always using your walker or cane as instructed by your physical therapist
  • Wearing shoes or socks with rubber grips to avoid slipping
  • Holding onto something solid when standing up
  • Limiting the number of trips you take up and down stairs
  • Sleeping in a recliner (this is usually more comfortable after surgery)

Steven Clemson is a physical therapist who works at Coordinated Health’s Hazleton location.

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