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Precautions After Total Joint Replacement Surgery
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Precautions after total joint replacement surgery are safety measures. Safety measures are guidelines to help your joint heal properly and help you avoid injury after surgery.
Weight on the new joint:
Right after surgery, your new joint is not able to hold your weight. Your primary healthcare provider (PHP) will tell you how much weight you can put on your joint. Over time, your PHP will increase the amount of weight your joint can bear. Your joint can loosen and move out of place if you put too much weight on it. Follow instructions on how much weight you should put on your joint. Use crutches, a cane, or a walker to help you move around more easily and help prevent a fall.
Climb stairs one at a time. Step up with the same foot each time. Do not switch feet for each stair. You may need to use crutches or a cane to help you go up or down stairs. Always follow safety measures for climbing stairs.
- Sit in chairs that have seats at least as high as your knees.
- Use a special seat extender to raise your toilet seat at least as high as your knees.
- Do not cross or twist your legs.
- Do not bend at your waist to pick things up. Use a tool to help you grab objects.
- Do not sit for longer than 1 hour at a time.
- Do not lie on the side of your body that had surgery.
- Follow instructions about using pillows to help position your body.
Ask your PHP when you can resume your normal daily activities. Ask when you can start to exercise and what exercises are best for you. Avoid activities and exercise that cause joint pain. You may need to see a physical or occupational therapist. These therapists teach you how to safely move with your new joint. They teach you activities and exercises that help make your bones and muscles stronger.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You develop bruises.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You fall.
- You have severe pain.
- One or both of your legs are red, warm, and swollen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.