Over time, many of us experience knee or hip pain, and physical therapy, pain-relief medication, minor surgery, or some combination of these provides relief. But for some, knee and hip problems become so intractable that a knee or hip replacement offers the best chance for a return to pain-free mobility.
Hip or knee surgery is a big deal. Full recovery times for replacement hips tend to be shorter than for replacement knees. Generally speaking, complete recovery for a hip replacement is 2-6 months. While a knee replacement is a bit more complicated, and can take anything from 3-12 months to heal.
When surgery is the only option available, you want to do everything possible to ensure as smooth, pain-free and expedient a healing process as possible. To do this, it’s crucial you prepare your home in advance, and create an environment that’s condusive to healing, that will speed up your recovery post-surgery as much as possible.
Important: Please consult your healthcare provider for guidance before preparing your living space. While these recommendations will go a long way to expediting the process, the nature of your operation may require a few additional specialist items and considerations not listed below.
SIMPLIFY YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Make sure all essential items are easily accessible and on ground floor. You want to limit the use of stairs as much as possible.
Grab rails for stability. These can be placed as needed, anywhere in the home, providing stability and confidence when moving around, standing up, going to the bathroom, showering – and pretty much any activity.
Bathroom safety is absolutely critical. Especially for Seniors. Bathrooms are dangerous places. They’re small, and cramped with lots of hard surfaces and corners. So, safety post-op is a non-negotiable. Post-op you will need some assistance in the bathroom.
Install safety bars (vertically or horizontally), around your toilet, bathtub or shower. This will not only increase your safety during transfers, but provide stability and confidence when moving around, standing up, going to the bathroom, showering – and pretty much any activity.
Avoid using towel rails as grab bars. It’s dangerous. Towel rails are not designed to be weight bearing.