Joint Replacement Surgery: How to Prepare Yourself

When your hip or knee becomes too painful to be used effectively, joint replacement surgery could help get you back to on your feet and daily routine. While the materials and techniques used for joint replacement surgery are more advanced than ever, you have to prepare ahead of time to help ensure the success of your procedure. Here are some tips to get you started.

Keep Your Health in Check

Family enjoying healthy meal at home

For the best possible outcome, you need to do specific lifestyle changes before your procedure, including:

  • Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Working out, particularly muscle-strengthening exercises, regularly
  • Doing physical therapy beforehand, if recommended
  • Working with yourjoint replacement specialists in Des Moines, Iowa closely

Work With The Best Surgeon You Can Find

Once you have decided to go ahead with joint replacement surgery, you need to find an experienced surgeon. You must be comfortable enough to ask the surgeon questions about the procedure and trust that the surgeon will give you all the details you need. For instance, ask how many surgeries he has performed and why he’s suggesting particular materials or approaches. You should also ask where you’ll have the joint replacement surgery and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, including infection control and physical rehabilitation.

Prepare in Advance for Recovery

Man getting physical therapy

Because joint replacement surgery is a major surgical procedure, recovery could take a month or several months. To help make this trying time easier on you, consider doing the following:

  • Organize your time wisely. If you’re getting a hip replacement, expect to move around with a cane or walker for at least two weeks. If you’re getting knee a replacement, recovery may take up to eight weeks or more. Don’t forget to factor in time for physical therapy. You should also inform your employer about your surgery in advance so you can create some arrangement that will work for you.
  • Address any healthcare problems in advance. Since infection control is very crucial post-surgery, make sure that you address any bowel, bladder, or dental health issues before surgery. Follow all aftercare instructions on infection control.
  • Work out your physical therapy schedule ahead of time. You will most likely need to undergo physical therapy, so it’s best that plan ahead, scout the place, and make arrangements for how you will get to and from the place.
  • Think ahead of what assistive devices you’ll use post-op. Whether you want to use a walker, cane, or other assistive devices for moving around while recovering, work this out well in advance to help make certain that you will have all that you need after your joint replacement surgery.

With proper planning and the right attitude, you will surely get through your surgery, physical therapy, and overall recovery just fine. In addition, modern prosthetic joints used for joint replacement surgery these days last very long, approximately up to 20 years for lots of people, so if you care for your new joint, you’ll never have to do another procedure ever again. 

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