Tips to a Successful Outpatient Joint Replacement Recovery

Outpatient total joint replacement (OTJR) has many benefits over inpatient TJR. Same-day joint replacement allows patients to avoid staying overnight in the hospital. After the outpatient procedure, patients can recover from the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by friends and family. The risk of infection and readmission is also lower for those who undergo outpatient procedures.

shutterstock_295932134To maintain the best overall health throughout recovery, patients should work to eat right and exercise, if possible, beforehand. They should also consult with their physician and schedule a “pre-hab” visit before surgery to learn about what to expect during rehabilitation after surgery. Patients should ensure that their homes are prepared for their low mobility levels after surgery and should ensure they have an adequate support network to assist them in the days immediately following surgery. This assistance includes driving the patient home after they’re discharged and aiding with basic tasks around the house. Most patients will become gradually more self-sufficient within a few days.

Those who undergo any surgical procedure may want to have a family member or close friend nearby as they receive instructions from their physicians to ensure that they can fully recall the doctor’s orders. No question is a silly question, especially when it comes to your health, so don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon any questions that you may have.

Post-op exercise is extremely important, and surgeons will recommend that you begin to use your “new” joint shortly after operation. You will actually be ambulated on your feet by an on-site physical therapist for the first time before you even leave the outpatient facility. It’s important to ensure you’re taking prescribed medication and completing physical therapy appointments exactly as instructed. Consult with your physician to determine what medication is appropriate, and be prepared to provide a list of all other medications before your surgery.

If you plan to have visitors in your home after the operation, we suggest recommending they wash their hands very thoroughly to prevent spreading risk of infection. If any of your visitors aren’t feeling well, encourage them to come another time.

The most important aspect of recovery is communication with your surgeon. Follow his or her instructions carefully to ensure a speedy, full recovery.

If you’d like to find out more about outpatient procedures offered at Campbell Clinic, or would like to speak to one of our orthopaedic specialists, please contact us at 901-759-3100.

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