Making Your Home “Recovery Ready” For Your Total Knee Replacement Surgery

The arthritis in your knee has become so severe that the pain keeps you from being active. Your orthopedic surgeon has you scheduled for a total knee joint replacement in a few weeks. You're looking forward to being able to walk without pain again, but you must have a successful recovery from the surgery first. Recovering from home will be easier if you prepare the house for your arrival from the hospital. Here are some ways to make your home a more pleasant, and safer, place in which to recover from your joint replacement.

1. Make pathways through the house.

When you come home, you'll be using crutches or a walker for several weeks while the knee joint heals. Move the furniture around in the rooms to make sure you have a clear path through each one. Allow plenty of space to get your walker or crutches through the rooms without having to twist or turn your body. You'll be weak for a few days and will need a lot of space to navigate through your home safely.

2. Pick up any potential obstacles.

As you rearrange your house, pick up anything that could possibly cause you to slip, trip or fall. Small trash cans, magazine racks and the dog's bed can be dangerous should you bump into them as you shuffle through your home. Pick up throw rugs that could slip under foot. Move any cords that might get tangled up in your crutches or walker.

3. Keep to the first floor for a few weeks.

If your bedroom is not on the first floor, move it there for a few weeks. Until you gain your strength and become an expert with your crutches or walker, avoid the stairs as much as you can. If your clothes washer and dryer are downstairs, ask someone to help you with the laundry for a few weeks.

4. Establish comfort areas with everything you'll need around you.

Place small tables or stands around your favorite chair in the living room. On those stands, place remote controls, books, reading glasses, tissues, a water glass, and anything else that you might want when relaxing in your chair. You won't want to be getting up every few minutes for something you need when trying to rest. Do the same in your bedroom and have supplies within reach of the bed.

5. Make items in the kitchen more accessible.

Before going to the hospital, pull out the most used dishware and cookware from the kitchen cabinets and place them on the countertop. For a few weeks, you won't want to have to reach up high to get something down or bend over for something in the lower cabinets. Do the same with the canned goods and spices you'll frequently want to use.

For more information, contact clinics like Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC.