An Essential Guide to Joint Surgery
Joint Surgery: more than 7 million Americans are living with an artificial knee or hip, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and those figures are likely to keep growing. The total knee replacement is more than doubled between 2000 and 2009, and the total hip replacement increases almost as much.
These procedures can provide a new lease on life for patients who are victims of serious arthritic pain that do not respond to drugs or lifestyle adjustments. Surgery often restores joints and allows for many daily activities once more.
However, what it does before and after surgery will play an important role in the results they experience. Read this guide before you decide on joint surgery.
Steps to follow before its joint surgery:
1. Explore other alternatives. While surgery can be very useful, it is a big effort. Try less intensive treatments, including drugs and exercise.
2. Understand your options. If a surgical procedure is indicated, your doctor may recommend a total replacement of the articulation or other types of operations. That may include arthroscopy, which often takes only one hour, or joint fusion surgery, which can be used when the replacement of the joint is not feasible.
3. Consider your timing. Deciding when to act can be tricky. You want to have joint surgery as soon as necessary but as late as possible to minimize additional damage and the need for replacement procedures.
4. Lose weight. Your doctor may suggest that you remove excess weight so that surgery is safer and put less tension on your knees and hips. Maintaining your new figure will also be important.
5. Work out. Exercise plays a big role before and after you’re in the hospital. Being fit will accelerate your recovery and increase your mobility.
6. Review your medications. Let your doctor know about whatever drug or supplement you use. Substances such as glucosamine can interfere with anticoagulants that reduce the risk of blood clots.
7. Plan your finances. Although insurance will probably cover your surgery, it can not extend to other expenses such as home health care and medical supplies. Make sure you are a budget for the total cost.
Steps to Take After Your Joint Surgery:
1. Prevent infection. You can reduce your risk of infection by keeping clean wounds and taking antibiotics as recommended. Contact your doctor if you see warning signs like fever, redness, or drainage from a wound.
2. Do physical therapy. Plan to start physical therapy before leaving the hospital. You might be able to do a lot of exercises at home after you receive the right instructions.
3. Prepare your home. Be ready for departure day. Clear away clutter and area rugs that could lead to falls. Install grab bars in the bathroom and move your sleeping arrangements to the ground floor if necessary.
4. Dress comfortably. Select loose garments. Elastic waist pants and pull on tops will save time. Wear slip-on shoes until you can bend your legs.
5. Bathe carefully. Keep your incision dry until the stitches are removed. Take sponge baths or use a stool and shower hose.
6. Buy assistive devices. Your physical therapist, medical supply stores, and online catalogs can help you find various items to help your recovery. Crutches and walkers can be delivered to the hospital or your home.
7. Arrange for help. Ask a family member or close friend to bring you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first few days. If no one is available locally, see if your church has a homebound ministry.
Joint replacement or other surgeries can be the start of an active and fulfilling new life. Being prepared will help you work with your health team to find the appropriate options for your condition.
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