Having a fairly substantial operation like joint replacement surgery can seem overwhelming. What will help you feel like you have some semblance of control is to prepare ahead of time, so you can minimize your anxiety before the surgery and actually have things ready for your recuperation afterward.
If you’re considering or anticipating having a knee replacement, hip replacement, or shoulder replacement surgery, then it is best to prepare now. Let’s talk about what that entails and what you can expect from it all.
What Should I Do Before Joint Surgery?
Here are some recommended tips on how you can start getting ready for your joint replacement operation:
Adjust Your Schedule
Even if your joint replacement surgery is going to be an outpatient procedure, it will require an extended period of recovery before you can get back to your regular lifestyle. This includes physical therapy to help speed up your recovery as much as possible.
For working professionals, it is best to schedule the operation for a time when it is most convenient and will cause as little anguish on your part as possible. If you’re in teaching, schedule the surgery for the beginning of your summer vacation. If you’re in a corporate position, schedule it for a time that will likely cause the least amount of interference as possible. This is to keep yourself as calm and stress-free as possible so you can concentrate on your healing.
Prepare Your House
Just getting around the house can become a challenge after joint replacement surgery, especially if it involves your hip or leg. Consider rearranging your furniture to make walkways wider and to make everything more accessible.
For example, if you are living in a two-story house, set up a temporary bed on the first floor for easy access. All your necessities should also be within easy reach.
Stop Taking Certain Medications
The doctor may suggest that you cut down or stop taking certain types of medicine or supplements. This is in order to avoid any complications or contraindications with anything you may be given during or after the surgery.
Your doctor will review the medicines and supplements you currently take and will make recommendations as necessary. This may also involve avoiding certain foods and drinks, such as grapefruit and grapefruit juice, which is known to interfere with the body’s proper metabolism of certain medications.
Put a Pause on Detrimental Habits
If you smoke, your doctor may advise you to stop smoking before the surgery and during your recovery. Nicotine can slow down the healing process and can increase the chance of developing negative side effects, such as an infection or circulatory problems.
If you drink alcohol, the doctor will probably suggest that you decrease or stop drinking during this time period as well. Alcohol can interfere with the effects of anesthesia in your body, and it may also interfere with your pain medication while you heal.
Strengthen Your Body
It is best to be as strong as possible before joint replacement surgery, especially the muscles surrounding the joint that is being replaced. This will help to support the new prosthetic joint while it heals and can help quicken your body’s recovery process. You can ask your doctor about what kind of exercises are best to do before the surgery. Some surgeries may include a visit or two for Physical Therapy or “Pre-hab” to strengthen your muscles prior to surgery to assist in a faster, more successful recovery.
Have a Support System
Have a family member or a trusted friend assist you for the first few days. You will need someone you know to drive you home once you are released from the hospital or clinic, and it will be best to have someone stay with you while you get reacclimated.
Joint Replacement Surgery in Shawnee Mission, KS
Joint replacement surgery can be intimidating, but there is no need to fret. Being prepared ahead of time will help it to seem less daunting – after all, you will feel so much better and will regain capabilities you haven’t enjoyed for a while once you’re fully healed. To learn more about our total knee replacement program, you can download our booklet by clicking here.
Here at Midwest Orthopaedics, we perform joint replacement surgery and are right there with you while you recover. Our orthopedic surgeons can perform your surgery, and our physician assistants and physical therapists will help you during preparation, recovery, and beyond.
To schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling us at (913) 362-8317. Alternatively, you may request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to helping you get back to enjoying a pain-free, active lifestyle once again.