I really like the following video narrated by Dr. Mike Evans. He does a great job of laying out expectations for hip and knee replacements.
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There are several important issues that Dr. Evans points out. First, he lays out several people that you will be working with including the surgeon, nursing staff and physical therapist. He also notes the importance of using your pain medication as a tool. My experience is that most people underuse their pain medication rather than overuse it.
The next issue that he addresses is your activity levels. You are getting the joint replacement to become more active rather than to maintain your activity level. People who excel with joint replacements are those who approach the surgery like it is a life changing event and challenge themselves to increase the activity level.
He mentions that you should try to become as strong as possible pre-surgically. It is really quite simple. The stronger you are going into surgery, the stronger you will be coming out of surgery. Physical therapy is a great tool to get stronger prior to surgery. However, some people are able to do exercises independently.
The last thing that sticks with me is the Bill Walton quote “Minor surgery is a surgery that happens to someone else”. Joint replacements have been commonplace. However, when you are in the middle of the recovery you will need to be committed to excel.
At Siskiyou Physical Therapy we work with joint replacement patients all the time. We are committed to making your joint replacement a truly life-changing experience.
Jon Hill, DPT Siskiyou Physical Therapy