Maybe you’ve mentally prepared yourself for joint replacement surgery by thinking about eventually being able to walk or move without pain. But have you prepared your home? Your mobility may be limited while you heal from joint replacement surgery, which means things you take for granted, like getting into bed, may be difficult.
At Chicago Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we want you to be fully prepared for your surgery, which includes a safe homecoming.
Make your space safe
Whether you’re using a walker or some other assistive device, you may not be able to get around easily while you’re recovering from joint replacement surgery. Things like throw rugs and narrow spaces can become dangerous and increase your risk of a fall or injury. Make your home safe by:
- Removing all throw rugs
- Creating wide walkways
- Removing clutter from your floors
- Moving plugs and extension cords from walkways
- Phone charger
You’ll want to make your home safe well before your surgery, so it’s not something you have to worry about on the day before your joint replacement.
Create a recovery area
You may be spending a lot of time sitting while you’re recovering from your joint replacement, and you’ll want to choose one area of your home that’s comfortable to sit and relax in and let your body heal. For most people, this is the living room. In this room, you’ll need a comfortable chair.
You’ll also want all of your essentials within arm’s reach in this area, including your phone and charger, eyeglasses, and medication. Of course, you’ll also want to enjoy your time while you’re recovering, so be sure to keep your TV remote close by as well as a few good books, bottles of water, and your favorite recovery snacks.
You may also want to stock your kitchen with ready-to-eat meals and easy-to-grab snacks, so you won’t have to cook.
Set up for fall prevention
Before your surgery, we may recommend that you pick up a few things to make life a little easier during your recovery. This includes:
- Slip-proof socks
- Night lights
- Handrails for your toilet and shower
- Raised toilet
We also recommend that you strategically place chairs throughout your house so you can sit when you get tired. But be sure these chairs don’t block your walkway.
Know when to ask for help
Despite your pride and desire for independence, you’re probably going to need help from a friend or family member for at least the first two weeks after your joint replacement surgery. Your helper can assist you with meals, errands, house cleaning, and in getting you to and from your physical therapy appointments. If you don’t have someone to help you, we can find a qualified caregiver to assist you while you recover.
Getting a new knee or hip can give you a new lease on life, and we want your recovery to go as well as your surgery. If you have any questions on your post-operative care be sure to reference Dr. Karas's hip and knee guides. He will give this to you at your preoperative visit or you can find them here.
To learn more about joint replacement surgery and how to get ready, call us at Chicago Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, or use the online booking button to schedule a consultation.