For most of us, there comes a time in our lives when we are faced with an injury or joint deterioration that requires a medical procedure. Amongst the most common of these procedures is the hip replacement and knee replacement. While it’s natural to dread a procedure that could leave you out of commission for a while, we have five tips that you should follow if you want a faster recovery.
Lose weight. It may be in your best interest to lose some weight prior to your procedure, as it can decrease the chance for post-surgical complications. If you are a few pounds overweight, your doctor may recommend that you work toward losing them before you have your replacement. More weight naturally leads to excess baggage that you will have to carry around, while also contending with a body that is undergoing a major joint reconstruction.
Get rid of the cigarettes. Nicotine tends to decrease the speed at which your body recovers from a procedure, which in turn can lead to complications. It’s in your best interest to kick the habit and your overall health will benefit. If you need tips on quitting successfully, your doctor will be able to recommend a smoke cessation class.
Find a driver. There are going to be a few lifestyle changes that you will need to get used to after your procedure. Because you will most likely be on narcotic pain meds and you’ll be at the mercy of your body returning to its full strength, you’ll be in the passenger seat for a little while. Be sure to book out a responsible driver in advance, so you’re not scurrying to get to your appointments at the last minute. You will most likely also be permitted to use a disabled parking tag for a few weeks, which will be a bonus when you do have to go out and run some errands.
Stop taking blood thinners. If you are taking any meds that cause your blood to thin out, you’ll want to stop taking them a few weeks prior to your procedure. While blood thinners prevent blood clots that cause strokes, they can also increase the risk of bleeding.
Prepare your living situation for comfort. A replaced knee or hip means that you will be confined to the first floor of the house following your procedure. With this said, it’s a good idea to organize a bedroom for yourself on the first floor.
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