Do You Know Someone Having Knee Replacement Surgery? Here’s How You Can Help.
After seeing a Bay Area knee replacement doctor and having surgery, a person recovering from knee replacement can face difficulties, especially the first few days. They’re likely to be tired and in pain, and feeling scared because of loss of mobility and independence. Help them through their recovery with these 10 tips.
Prepare home ahead of time
Set up a recovery room on the ground floor stocked with anything they may need, including:
- A bed at optimal height with clean bedsheets
- Pillows for elevation of the lower leg
- Lights or lamps that can easily be controlled
- Bedside commode or urinal if the bathroom isn’t accessible
- Walker or crutches
- A telephone or cellphone (with charger) to call for help
Assist with medications and wound care
Use a daily medication dispenser to ensure medications are administered on schedule as prescribed. Stock up on bandages before they’re needed.
Establish a routine where you dispense medications and monitor the wound for swelling and inflammation at the same times each day.
Perform household chores
Assist with shopping and meal preparation. Prepare frozen meals in advance. Ask friends or family members to drop off meals during the first few weeks of recovery.
Take over vacuuming and laundry, or arrange for outside help.
Help out with medical appointments
The patient will have to see their Bay Area knee replacement specialist for follow up. Keep a calendar to stay informed of appointments. Missing one may lead to setbacks or other complications.
Assist with transportation for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery, or arrange for someone else to do so.
Provide motivation for rehab and exercises
Following a rehab plan is crucial to recovery. Doctors recommend walking and exercising up to an hour two to three times a day. Help chart efforts, results, and progress. Exercising and walking alongside the person you’re assisting can increase motivation.
Keep a list of questions for medical professionals
Assist the person you’re caring for by documenting their questions, and as well as yours, for follow up with the care team.
Be watchful for changes
Any significant change in physical condition or mental state requires immediate contact of a medical professional.
Keep paperwork organized
Find a system that works best for you yet is easily understood by others. Take the lead on any actionable notices from the care team. This will reduce stress and keep the patient’s focus on recovery.
Provide emotional support
There’s an important mental aspect to recovery. By providing ongoing support and encouragement, you can speed up the process to a full recovery. Try not to take things said out of frustration and impatience personally.
Take time for self care
You can’t effectively care for someone else if you don’t take care of yourself.
Proper preparation can help you successfully care for someone after knee replacement surgery. Be sure you’re physically and emotionally ready to be on call for up to three months. Take care of yourself so you don’t burn out. If you think you need help, don’t try to go it alone
Are you or someone you love in need of a San Francisco knee replacement specialist?
Contact us at IASM. Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht is a board certified knee replacement specialist in San Francisco that can help get you back to your normal daily activities as quickly as possible. 415-923-0944