Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery — Easing the Recovery
Are you considering Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery for yourself or a loved one? More than one million Americans have one of these joint replacement surgeries performed annually,¹ so you are in good company! The growing demand for improved mobility and quality of life has significantly increased the number of these elective surgeries — so much that by 2030, more than four million Americans are expected to have one of these joint replacement surgeries performed annually.²
The large number of Baby Boomers reaching 65 years of age is a large factor in this increase, but younger patients are also a significant driver.
While the risk of joint failure was once thought to be higher for young adults than older patients, advances in technology have changed the odds. Thanks to improved implant durability, newer implants can withstand higher activity levels, thus increasing their longevity and making them more practical for young adults.
As you discuss the surgery with your physician and loved ones, here are a few things to keep in mind about your recovery.
It can take up to three months before you will be able to perform most activities, and up to six months or even longer to fully recover your strength.³ These are averages, so your recovery situation may be shorter or longer. Consult your doctor to discuss your specific recovery expectations.
Activities to Avoid During Early Recovery
Your medical professionals will likely encourage the following until they give you permission otherwise. Consult your doctor for the specifics related to your situation.
- Do not bend forward more than 90º.
- Do not raise your knee higher than your hip.
- Do not cross your legs at the knees or ankles.
- Avoid twisting your hips.
Before you even go into surgery, you will want to prepare your home for post-surgery recovery to help you avoid the activities listed above. Waiting to have equipment delivered until you are discharged can delay your recovery.
Top 10 Recommendations to Help Make your Daily Living Easier during Recovery
- Install grab bars on the walls of your shower or bathtub.
- Move your toilet paper to a location where you do not have to reach forward or twist your hips to reach it.
- Purchase a handheld showerhead and a shower chair. Once you are allowed to shower, these items will enable you to sit, making showering easier.
- Purchase a long-handled sponge so you don’t have to twist your hips or bend your knees while bathing.
- Install a raised toilet seat to reduce the amount of bending required during toileting.
- Place frequently used items on countertops within easy reach.
- Use assistive devices for dressing, such as a sock aid, dressing stick, and long shoe horn.
- Use a walker or crutches until your physical therapist or physician instructs you to stop.
- Use a reacher to pick up objects on the floor — do not bend down to pick up objects.
- Use an apron with several pockets to carry small items, or get a walker bag, which fits on your walker and can be used to carry small items.
Lumex® Post-Surgery Hip and Knee Kit
Purchasing a kit like the Lumex® Post-Surgery Hip and Knee Kit provides a one-stop solution for many of the assistive devices you will need to help ease recovery. The kit, shown at right, includes (L-R):
- a dressing stick
- a long shoehorn
- a sock aid
- a long-handled sponge
- a reacher
Preparing your home beforehand will reduce your stress level during your post-surgery recovery and move you along to a fully active lifestyle once again.
The information offered here is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance offered by your medical professionals.
¹ Prevalence of Total Hip and Knee Replacement in the United States; J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 Sep 2; 97(17): 1386-1397: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4551172/
³ Total Hip Replacement; AAHKS American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons: http://www.aahks.org/care-for-hips-and-knees/do-i-need-a-joint-replacement/total-hip-replacement/
Ryan Howe is a Product Manager at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700. © 2017, GF Health Products, Inc., all rights reserved.