Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which a damaged joint (or parts of the joint) is replaced with an artificial device. These devices are typically made from ceramic, metal or plastic. The joint can then perform the same movements as a normal, healthy joint.
Like all major procedures, it takes time to recover from joint replacement surgery. While you can’t eliminate the healing process completely, there are ways to shorten its duration. Here are five suggestions to accomplish this.
Follow all of your doctor’s prescribed recommendations.
You should always follow all of your doctor’s instructions and advice. Your doctor is the expert, and they will know what your recovery should look like. For example, your doctor may prescribe a certain medication or advise you to take some activities slowly. If you don’t follow these instructions, you could negatively impact your recovery.
Walk (or move around) frequently once you’re allowed and able to do so to your tolerance.
Once you’re cleared and able to put weight on the joint, get up and walk around. Walking helps improve circulation, which decreases swelling and ensures your tissues get all the oxygen and nutrients they need.
Even if you can’t go for a stroll just yet, find other ways to squeeze movement into your day. It will still have a positive impact. You can walk slowly around the home or driveway with your cane or walker, for instance, or do some light stretches from the sofa.
Do your prescribed physical and occupational therapy exercises.
After the surgery, your body will have to learn how to use the joint. This is done through physical and occupational therapy, which strengthen and condition the joint. Both therapies are essential to the recovery process, so be sure that you attend these appointments.
Practice good self-care.
Self-care is an important part of the healing process. The better you treat yourself, the faster your body can recover. Focus on eating healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. They contain plenty of vitamins, antioxidants and protein to help your body heal.
A lot of restoration happens during sleep, so make sure you’re getting enough rest. You may need to nap during the day to give your body a chance to recover, which is fine, as long as you’re still able to sleep at night. Now is also a good time to read a book and catch up on your favorite shows.
Consider in-home joint replacement therapy.
You may also benefit from in-home joint replacement therapy. These structured, at-home exercise programs improve pain and range of motion just as effectively as if you were to attend therapy at a rehabilitation facility.
VNA Health offers joint replacement therapy in New Jersey. We recognize that not everyone can drive back and forth to their appointments, and we are here to help. Our in-home therapy program ensures patients receive the rehabilitation they need to ease back into their routine and bounce back quicker. Contact us today to learn more.