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If you or a loved one has had a hip, knee or shoulder replacement, you’re no stranger to symptoms like pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and other forms of discomfort. After all, your joint was likely damaged to such a large extent by arthritis, another disease, or an injury, that other forms of therapy didn’t work sufficiently and you needed to have the joint partially or totally replaced. The good news is, improved technology has led to the development of stronger, longer-lasting artificial joints, which means that with the right rehabilitation program, you’ll be able to enjoy greater, more comfortable mobility for many years to come.
Once you’ve returned home, which usually happens within five days after surgery, you might think the hard part is behind you. But what you do during the recovery period is critical to improving your strength and range of motion in the joint and to preventing blood clots, infections, and other complications from developing. Often, a combination of approaches is called for, including:
There’s no magical timetable for recovering after joint replacement surgery, nor is there a sure answer for what you can expect in the way of improvements. But your doctor should be able to give you some idea of your prognosis and what you can do to enhance your recovery, as well as your comfort, in the meantime. Most people experience dramatic improvements in their mobility within weeks of surgery. By following your doctor’s treatment regimen, you can manage your symptoms, improve the healing and recovery processes, prevent complications, and enhance the quality of your life and health. Once your recovery process is launched, your doctor will want to see you periodically to find out how well you have healed, how your ability to function has improved, and how your pain level has changed. Depending on your progress, your doctor may give you the go-ahead to participate in a broader range of activities or suggest that you avoid certain high-impact or particularly challenging ones.
To learn more about how the Visiting Nurse Service of New York can help you recover from joint replacement surgery, click here.