Soon after your joint replacement surgery, your hospital team will have you up and about, and on the road to recovery. But you won’t go it alone.
We’ll develop a thorough and personalized rehabilitation plan that will continue after you leave the hospital. A team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and other specialists will guide you through exercises and activities to help you regain your strength, flexibility and confidence.
You’ll be able to go home from the hospital when you are able to:
Before you go home, we will provide:
You will need to prearrange for someone to drive you home, preferable in a roomy vehicle that is easy to get in and out. We don’t recommend compact cars, sports cars or high-off-the ground trucks. Your driver should bring pillows for you to sit on, and you may want to recline your seat slightly. If you have a long ride ahead, we recommend you stop and stretch every 45 minutes or so.
Once you are discharged from the hospital, you may be able to continue the rehabilitation and recovery process in the comfort of your home. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and other medical professionals might be able to come to you. Your Mercy medical team will let you know upon your discharge.
Physical Therapy Exercise Program
A physical therapist will might be able to visit you at home on a regular basis to help you perform your exercise program. The therapist will assess your range of motion and mobility, and might add exercises as needed. Physical therapy is a very important part of the recovery process. Even when you don’t feel up to it, try your best to participate fully.
Occupational Therapy Program
An occupational therapist might visit you at home to:
Some swelling in your knee is normal and should not be a cause for concern. Watch for signs of increased or abnormal swelling each day. Notify your surgeon immediately if anything seems out of the ordinary.
There are several ways to help keep normal swelling to a minimum, including:
Caring for Your Incision
Pay careful attention to the surgery site. Keep your incision clean and dry. It is also important that you check the incision daily, and note any significant changes in how it looks or feels.
If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you should contact your surgeon:
Because everyone heals differently or could have other complicating factors, it might not be possible for some patients to return directly home after they are discharged from the hospital.
If you need additional support that can’t be administered in your home, you may be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility. If you need an even higher level of care and attention, your surgeon might recommend a skilled nursing facility. This transition will be arranged by a Mercy surgical navigator.
Conditions or needs that might make it necessary to use inpatient services following surgery could include:
Specifically for skilled nursing facilities:
No matter what level of care you’ll need, your Mercy team will be at your side. Our goal is to make sure your joint replacement surgery is successful and that you recover as quickly as possible. Our greatest joy is to see you regain your mobility and get back to doing all the things you love.