Get Ready to Move it, Move it

A man is playing golf.Think about how it feels to bend your knee to take a step, move your hips while hitting the dance floor or flexing your shoulder to swing a tennis racket. Now think about how your life would be if your joints couldn’t move the way you want them to. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, one of the most common elective procedures in the United States is hip, knee and other joint replacement surgery.

The study stated that the average age of patients having joint replacement surgery has decreased over the last few years. Physicians attribute the need for joint replacement surgery at a younger age to the rising obesity numbers and a generation that desires their active, independent lifestyle.

Joint replacement surgery requires replacement of the entire joint with an artificial one. This procedure can be performed on hips, knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders and elbows. In some cases, a revision may be required after the initial surgery. Here are a few tips that may help during a joint replacement journey:

  • Pack a bag. You may be in the hospital for two to three days after surgery. Make sure to bring loose-fitting clothing and comfortable, nonslip shoes.
  • Take care of your house before surgery. Pick up clutter on the floor of the main rooms and arrange for a place to sleep on the ground floor if your bedroom is upstairs.
  • Get ready to move. Many patients are up and walking the day of their surgery and almost all by the day after.
  • Start a physical therapy regime. Physical therapy will begin after surgery and continue after discharge.
  • Pay attention to activity restrictions. You’ll need to avoid sudden movements, sleeping in certain positions and sitting for long periods of time.
  • Get a little help. You won’t be able to lift heavy items or drive during the first few days. Help with regular tasks will help make the recovery process go smoothly.

If you or someone you know is in need of joint replacement surgery, BayCare can help. Talk to your doctor about your options for surgical and nonsurgical treatments. BayCare provides exceptional, compassionate care every step of the way, including nurse navigators and innovative treatments that can shorten recovery time. For more information about joint replacement surgery at BayCare or to request a physician referral, call (855) 546-6297.