After your knee or hip joint replacement surgery, you’ll spend one to three days in the hospital recuperating and regaining your strength. A member of our Joint Care Team will ease you into a comfortable recliner chair each morning and make sure your pain is managed. Breakfast will be delivered along with a daily New Joint Newsletter that explains each step of your care and daily schedule for meals, therapy and more.
To achieve maximum mobility and optimum use of your new joint, we’ll aim to have you up and walking the first day after surgery. In fact, we’ll have you exercising your new joint with twice daily therapy sessions and walks on our Georgia Sightseer Tour. Your doctor may also order the use of a Continuous Passive Motion machine (CPM) that will automatically exercise your knee even while you are stationary in the bed. Your coach is invited and encouraged to attend your physical therapy with you. Your evenings will be free for friends to visit.
Deciding when you are ready to go home or to a rehabilitation center is something that you, your surgeon and your Joint Care Manager will determine together. Once the decision is made, your Joint Care Manager will instruct you and your coach in how to care for your new hip or knee, change the dressing on the surgical site and recognize any signs of infection.
Joint exercises are a critical component of your recovery, and your therapy team will recommend an at-home program for you. Your Joint Care Team can also arrange for any equipment, home health visits, therapy or support services you will need to continue a full recovery when you leave. You should be able to resume most of your normal activities within 3 to 6 weeks following surgery and be able to drive in 4 to 6 weeks.
Physical and Occupational Therapy after Joint Surgery
While you’re in the hospital, you’ll begin a schedule of therapy and exercise that will help you get used to your new joint and regain optimum mobility and function. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon, our physical therapists will come to your room to help you walk down to the Joint Gym or transport you in a comfortable rolling recliner chair to the gym.
In addition to exercises that will help you regain flexibility, range of motion and independence, your therapy will include instruction on how to safely climb stairs and negotiate curbs with your walker or cane. Our occupational therapists can also show you the best way to approach activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and cooking until your surgical site is completely healed.
We'll also prescribe a program of joint mobility exercises to keep you on the road to recovery when you get home.