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The time to prepare for your arrival home is before surgery. You will want to consider having someone with you to be your caregiver for the first week or so. In choosing a caregiver, consider that this person should be physically able to do the following activities:
Physical Therapy at Home
You will receive home physical therapy after you have been discharged. The therapist will visit your home two to three times a week for the first two weeks. After you have completed your home physical therapy you will go to outpatient physical therapy as arranged by your surgeon.
If ordered by your surgeon, continue to wear your TED compression stockings at home for about four weeks. Remove them once or twice a day to check your skin for any breakdown.
Special Equipment at Home
You might need some special equipment for your home while you recover. This equipment will be delivered to you at the hospital or at your home prior to your discharge. The most common equipment for home includes:
Day of Discharge
Activity at Home
You may resume your normal diet. A well-balanced diet high in iron, protein, and
vitamin C will promote healing.
Incision Care and Hygiene
Discuss with your surgeon any questions or concerns about when to resume sexual activities. Follow any and all precautions as instructed.
Your surgeon will decide when it is safe for you to drive, but generally you'll be able to drive in four to six weeks.
You may be limited to walking, swimming, and using a high-seated stationary bike after your total joint replacement. Consult with your surgeon before doing any activity.
Returning to Work
This depends on what type of work you do, so discuss it with your surgeon.
Reminder About Dental Work and Minor Surgery
Before having any dental work or minor surgery, tell your dentist or physician that you have a total joint prosthesis. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed. The general rule is no dental work for one month before and six months after your surgery.
It is very important that you return to your surgeon's office for your follow-up appointment. Your appointment is usually two weeks after your surgery. At this visit, you will have the staples removed from your incision. Do not hesitate to call your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns before your appointment.