Facing a knee replacement can be a daunting proposition for anyone. There is a lot to think about, including how to properly prepare your home to facilitate a full recovery after the surgery.
Almost 700,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgery every year. Everyone who has this surgery must follow a fairly strict regimen of therapy and rest in order to heal properly and avoid complications. How you prepare your home for recovery can be a big factor in the success of your total knee replacement surgery.
It’s crucial for home preparation to be done before and not after you’ve had the surgery, because housework and excessive movement will not be allowed by your doctor in the weeks following the knee operation. During the recovery period, you are required to rest and focus on caring for your knee, and you will likely begin physical therapy.
Prepare your home in such a way that when you arrive, all you need to do is relax and recover. Below are a few key steps to getting your home ready:
1. Remove Clutter
You’ll actually recover more quickly from knee surgery if you have plenty of room to move around, and you are not cramped for space. Not only does a clutter-free home allow you more freedom to move around, but it also creates a safer environment.
Removing clutter involves moving some furniture to create wide, clear pathways. It’s also important to remove potential hazards such as area rugs, cords, and anything that could cause tripping.
After this is complete, you should be able to move with a walker through your home. There should be at least a 3-foot-wide clearance to enable you to walk everywhere you need to go.
2. Create a Recovery Room
It’s ideal to put as little pressure as possible on your knee, especially in the first few days after your surgery. Why not set up a recovery room on the first floor of your home, so you don’t have to use the stairs?
In putting together your recovery room, utilize fall-prevention methods. The seats should be high enough that you do not have to put excessive pressure on your knee when standing up from sitting, even if that means adding firm cushions on top of existing cushions. Also, there should be plenty of things to hold onto or grab in order to aid with stability as you move around.
3. Utilize Fall-Prevention Equipment
Balance is going to be an issue after your knee surgery. Therefore, have the following preventive measures in place to avoid falling:
In the bathroom:
- Install hand rails in the bathtub and/or shower
- Install a raised toilet seat on your toilet
- Add soap and shampoo dispensers (so you don’t have to hold soap in one hand)
- Place a shower chair in the shower
- Add a handheld shower head
- Place textured mats on your bathroom floor
- Use a walker, crutches, or cane
- Wear nonskid socks
- Make sure everything is at tabletop height
- Have a TV and reading materials within easy access
- Have your medication, a first aid kit, and tissues within easy reach
- Utilize a reacher for picking up things
- Install nightlights (so the area is well-lit at night)
- Make sure pillows offer support and elevation as necessary
- Create a rehabilitation space with sturdy chairs, a footstool, and/or a recliner
4. Have Helpers
Recovering from total knee replacement surgery can make doing the easiest things a challenge. Ask a loved one to stay with you throughout the recovery period. Even if you live with your family, having extra help is ideal.
You can also arrange for in-home care to assist you in monitoring your condition, changing your bandages, bathing, getting dressed, cooking, and running important errands. Ask your doctor about this option.
Knee Replacement Surgeon in Raleigh
If you have knee arthritis and are considering a knee replacement, Dr. Gilbert would love to talk to you. He specializes in joint replacement surgery, and he offers the option of a minimally invasive procedure so you can heal more quickly and with much less pain.
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this! Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling (919) 788-8797, or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you and helping you enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle once again.