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After knee replacement surgery

After knee replacement surgery, your first thought will most likely be “When can I go home?” Some of the most important preparation for successful knee replacement surgery in Ft. Myers and in Naples relates to coming home from the hospital.

Prepare your home for your return from the hospital

Have your house ready for your arrival back home after knee replacement surgery.

Clean your home beforehand, do the laundry and put it away.

Put clean linens on the bed.

Prepare meals and freeze them in single serving containers.

Cut the grass, and tend to the garden and other yard work as it will be some time before you will be ready for this activity.

Pick up throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting.

Remove electrical cords and other obstructions from walkways. Install nightlights in bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Arrange to have someone collect your mail and take care of pets or loved ones, if necessary.

How long will I be incapacitated right after surgery?

We expect you will get out of bed and walk the day of surgery. This is extremely important to get your muscles moving and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs and fluid from collecting in your lungs.  In addition, the next morning you will get up and will be walking with a walker or cane to participate in physical therapy.  Typically, patients should plan to leave the hospital post-op day 1 for home and are on their way to normal activity four to six weeks after surgery.

How long will I be in the hospital?

If you are hospitalized at all (outpatient patients go home right after surgery)… most knee patients are hospitalized for 1 night which is required by Medicare regulation.  Very few patients need to go to a rehab facility and, in fact, this is discouraged in our program. Younger patients, insured with commercial insurance, typically have their knee surgery at our Seaside Surgery Center outpatient center and go home directly after surgery…never being hospitalized.

Where will I go after discharge from the hospital?

Virtually all total knee replacement patients are able to go home directly after discharge.  We believe that for most patients this is preferable to a 3-week admission to a rehab center and generally leads to quicker return to normal activity.  The national trend among knee surgeons is to avoid putting patients into rehab facilities after surgery.  Of course, if you have your knee replacement done at the Surgery Center, you will go home directly.

When can I take a shower?

A plastic protective dressing is applied to cover the wound the morning after surgery and will usually stay in place for one week. You may shower once this dressing has been placed….BUT, you may not go into a pool, bath, hot tub, or the ocean until you have been advised to do so — usually after your first follow up exam, approximately 10 days after surgery.

For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.comThe information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments, or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this topic. 

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