The Day of Surgery
Your physical therapy will start the day of your surgery. We anticipate that you will get out of bed and walk (at least a few steps) the same day as your surgery. This has a wonderfully therapeutic effect. Mobilizing so soon after surgery has proven very important not only because it improves your circulation and protects your skin against pressure sores but also because psychologically it gives you tremendous confidence and a “can do” attitude. Imagine already walking on your new hip or knee the day of your surgery!
One Day After Surgery
The morning after your surgery you will walk to the restroom with assistance to wash up, change into your own clothes and have breakfast sitting at bedside. We encourage walking and mobility. You will be visited by Dr Leone and his team who will discuss your surgery with you.
If you had a total hip replacement, Dr. Leone and his team will give you specific instructions about which body positions to avoid and for how long based on his assessment of the stability of your hip. These instructions are not the same for everyone. The goal is to encourage the new prosthetic ball to remain fully seated within the new socket until the surrounding tissues heal and mature, providing stability.
If you had a total knee replacement, Dr Leone and his team will also give you specific instructions including to place a rolled sheet under your lower leg just above you heel when in bed, to encourage full extension of your knee and exercises to improve flexion and strengthen your muscles. You will also be encouraged to continue to use the special cold water sleeve with in bed or sitting to decrease pain and swelling.
You will receive physical therapy and occupational therapy, practicing standing, sitting, walking, getting in and out of bed, going up and down steps and even getting into and out of a car. You will be taught specific exercises to strengthen your leg and improve motion.
Instruction will be given on how to use a walker and then progress to a cane or other ambulatory device when appropriate, with the goal of walking device-free as soon as possible. The physical therapist also will provide instructions in the use of reachers and sock aids, as needed.
You will attend one or two therapy sessions and a total joint class and then go home later that day. Occasionally, patients will stay in the hospital an additional one or two days, depending on their specific circumstances and needs.
Before you leave the hospital, we will schedule an appointment for you to come to our office two weeks after your surgery for suture removal. Your plan for continued physical therapy either at home or as an outpatient will be confirmed and any meds or prescriptions that you need will be provided. You’ll be given very specific instructions on caring for your surgical dressing, when to shower and arrangements will be made for any any physical supplies you may need at home.