Recuperating after a joint replacement surgery is a crucial time and taking the right precautions pays off. Joint surgery promises a pain-free and mobile lifestyle for the patient.
Advancement in technology has enabled people to get new joints that easily last 30 years. There are many kinds of replacement surgeries such as hip, knee, ankle, shoulder and others.
Here are a few tips and precautions about what to expect after your joint replacement surgery.
The most common operations are total knee replacement (TKR) and hip replacement. After the operation, recovery and rehabilitation is a crucial stage. Here are a few insights.
Scar/ Incision Care
After the operation, the wound would be covered by dressing by the doctors. It will remain for two weeks. The stitches are underskin. Do not remove the dressing.
Do not wet it. At your first appointment after surgery, it will be removed or replaced. You can take a bath after the dressing is removed, but keep the wound covered. Also, do not take tub baths.
Applying a cold pack is a fundamental part of recovery from joint replacement surgery. Icing is important to decrease swelling and inflammation.
You can use ice packs and put them in the freezer in your house and apply. If you don’t have that, you may also put ice pieces or chopped vegetables in a plastic bag and freeze them.
Continuous use of cold packs is recommended for the first 2 to 3 days at least.
Leg Elevation in TKR
After knee joint replacement surgery, doctors recommend elevating the leg for a speedy recovery and relief in swelling.
Keep a small pillow or cushion under your foot so that the knee is at a lower level. It will increase the blood circulation to the operation site and reduce the swelling.
Post Surgical Diet
After your surgery, you will have the after-effects of anaesthesia, if you took general anaesthesia ( knee replacement is often performed using local anaesthetics).
Pain relievers are also given. It is best to go light in food immediately after the operation, as the body is in a recovery mode. At Eva Ortho Centre we provide a recommended diet plan.
The first few days usually includes soups, fresh fruits, salad, khichdi etc easily digestible and anti-inflammatory foods.
Gradually you proceed to normal food rich in proteins and iron.
Medicines for pain relief after joint replacement surgery often cause constipation. Keep laxatives such as cromolyn with you or ask the doctor to prescribe one for you, if he hasn’t already. Take a fibre rich diet and plenty of water.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Look out for the following indications post joint replacement surgery to contact your hospital or orthopaedic surgeon:
- Persistent fever 102 or above
- Excessive pain even after taking pain relievers
- Oozing fluids from the wound
- Too much vomiting or nausea
At Eva Hospital, Dr Tanveer Bhutani fixes you up with an appointment when you are relieved from the hospital after your surgery.
Physiotherapy and Exercises
Basic rehabilitation and physiotherapy will be initiated while you are still in the hospital. Gentle exercises for a few minutes are started to facilitate blood circulation. The patient is made to stand up and walk a little.
It makes recovery much faster. It is important to put a little weight on the new joint- hip or knee. If both knees are replaced at the same time, patients need to get relief from pain.
The physiotherapist will make you do assist movements and bend the legs or knees at certain angles. Physiotherapy would continue even when you are recovering at home. It is the most important part of post-surgical rehabilitation.
The legs should be kept separated- not touching by keeping a pillow between the legs. It is required in both knee and hip replacement.
Arrange for Walking Assistance
In the beginning, while you are recuperating from your joint replacement, you may require devices such as a walker, crutches, walking stick, a high or portable toilet seat etc.
By the time of your first appointment post-surgery, you would be most probably walking with a cane.
The healing and rehabilitation process plays a significant role in determining the success of the procedure. At Eva Hospital we take the utmost care to make sure your recovery is quick and comfortable.
However, the recovery time differs for each patient, his age, lifestyle, goals and type of surgery.
Miraculous procedures have been performed here for people suffering from total loss of movement