Before joint replacement surgery, there are some ways you can prepare, both physically and mentally, for the challenges of surgery and the recovery process. Those who are better prepared for their joint replacement surgery tend to achieve better results. Here are a few tips for optimal results and recovery following your procedure:
Learn about the procedure:
- Learn as much as possible about pre-op preparations, the procedure, post-op care, precautions, and possible complications.
- Ask your doctor to go over your surgical plan, potential outcomes, and long-term care in detail.
- Talk with past patients. Hearing about other’s successes can help you gain perspective and ease your mind.
- Ask about current medications. Find out if you need to stop taking any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal remedies before surgery.
Assemble your personal and medical information:
- Schedule surgery when you can afford to take time off from work and when it will be least disruptive to your family.
- Let the doctor know of any medical conditions or health problems you have, such as diabetes, asthma, anemia, or high blood pressure.
- Gather the name of your insurance company, along with the plan or group number and contact information. Be sure to bring your insurance card to the hospital with you.
Plan for your homecoming:
- Prepare for downtime. Remember you will be laid up for a certain amount of time, depending on the joint replacement procedure you receive. Organize, schedule appointments, and take care of as much business as possible before surgery.
- Adapt your environment. Get ready for homecoming before you go to the hospital by having a raised toilet seat, reachers, and other adaptive equipment already available.
- Plan for someone to be with you, especially for the first week or two at home. If no one is available, make arrangements to enter a post-op inpatient rehabilitation facility until you are independent enough to care for yourself at home.
- Prioritize physical therapy. Your physical therapy and post-op exercise regimen are critical for a successful outcome. Think of each exercise as a stepping-stone toward improved strength, range of motion, and function.
Prepare for the surgery:
- Have a positive attitude. Be encouraged and focus on the high rate of success for joint replacement procedures.
- Take multi-vitamins and eat well-balanced meals. Be particularly health-conscious during the weeks and months leading up to surgery to promote better healing.
- If you smoke, cut back or quit if possible. Smoking affects blood circulation and will delay healing.
- Take a shower or bath the night before your surgery. Your surgeon may recommend an antibacterial soap or other medical wash. This will help reduce the risk of infection.
Dr. Nelson wants your surgery and recovery process to be as smooth as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Nelson, please give us a call at 435-774-8511.