What to Do Before Joint Surgery
Planning for your temporary physical limitations ahead of time can make your life much easier immediately after your surgery.
- Around the House - Following your surgery, you may briefly require a wheelchair or walker. Make sure your hallways and other paths throughout your home are clear of obstacles. Have chairs with arms on each side and firm cushions to help you getting up after sitting. Reduce your need to go up and down stairs as much as possible by making moving necessary items to your primary living space. Grab bars near bathtubs and toilets are also useful during recovery time.
- Getting Around - Depending on the procedure you have, driving could be difficult for four to six weeks after surgery. Apply for a temporary disabled parking permit now, so when you're ready to drive, parking lots aren't a source of pain.
- Taking Care of Business - How long you're away from work depends on the nature of your job. Office workers may be able to return sooner, but for those who perform physical labor, joint surgery could keep you away from work for several months. If you can perform some of your work from home, speak with your employer prior to your surgery to discuss any necessary arrangements.
- Don't Put off Chores and Errands - Take care of as many regular errands as possible ahead of time. Stock up on food that is quick and easy to cook without spending a lot of time on your feet. Make sure you have plenty of clean dishes and clothes to reduce the need for washing. Set up online bill-pay accounts if walking to your roadside mailbox might be difficult, or see whether your mail carrier can come to your door.
- Asking for Help Is Natural - Above all, don't expect to be able to handle every need, and don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Most people will be happy to help.