After receiving a total Joint Replacement, you spend anywhere from one to three days in the hospital before being discharged home. Its once you get home that someone like myself from a local home health agency shows up to help you with your physical rehab along with educating you on pain management and safety issues for starters.
One of the discussions you want to have with your physical therapist is exercise frequency. In other words how many times a day you want to complete the exercises provided and also, what activities you should abstain from, listen carefully here please.
One of the biggest problems a total Joint replacement patient will run up against is impatience. Once you get home, many people start getting involved in activities you should be staying clear of. People get bored as the days go on, they tend to get anxious to get moving with the whole healing process and in turn, end up rushing this process and behold, chronic pain and discomfort!
This is particularly common with total knee replacement surgeries.
This is where you as a patient will run into trouble as trying to speed up the healing and physical rehabilitation process is a dead end street with chronic pain and inflammation waiting for you at the end of that street.
I have seen this time and time again and more then likely will continue to see it as most people have this desire to get ” get things moving” and either are trying to prove to their surgeon, physical therapist or, family member that they are not just mere mortals.
If you have had a knee or hip replacement for instance, give yourself at least six weeks from the day of surgery to begin to have consistent days where the lack of pain and inflammation stays somewhat consistent. Of course this can vary somewhat from patient to patient too.
For instance, anterior hip replacements are becoming more common here in the US and the patients recovery time is almost cut in half so, their pain levels will be down considerably if, they exist at all after six weeks.
Please don’t come home and after one week of surgery and get frustrated at the fact that the surgical site still hurts, inflammation still remains and,” muscles around the joint are still tight, is this normal”?
Of course it is and will be for several more weeks, this is the way it is and the way the body heals itself. Total joint replacement is major surgery please understand this.We all find during these times after orthopedic surgery that the mind is saying lets go and your body is saying something else. Your body after surgery will generally win that battle and will bring you to your knees if you are not careful.
Give yourself and the joint replacement time to heal. Do not expect in one or two weeks a big turn around, after four weeks you will feel a noticeable improvement and in six weeks, another big leap will be made in your recovery.
All the additional exercises and activities that you decide to take on other than what your physical therapist has given you will not help your cause, its a game however that seems it has to be played by all I am afraid.
Patience will be something that the sooner you grow into and understand and accept it, the sooner you will recover and, get headed in the right direction toward a full recovery!
If you would like a simple and concise special report on how to handle knee pain and inflammation please check out the home page in the information products store. It is a report that I have put together from my years of experience that will save you from unnecessary pain and swelling once followed.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below, I will be happy to help you in any way I can and, its helpful to share your experiences with others.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
Total Joint Fitness LLC