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P916_ABC_DVT_PE After Surgery

Activity Do the exercises your physical therapist taught you. Your doctor and physical therapist will help you decide when you do not need crutches, a cane, or a walker anymore. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about when to start using a stationary bicycle and swimming as extra exercises to build your muscles and bones. Try not to sit for more than 45 minutes at a time without getting up and moving around. 77 Do not sit in low chairs that put your knees higher than your hips. Choose chairs with armrests to make it easier to stand up. 77 Sit with your feet flat on the floor, and point your feet and legs outward a little. Do not cross your legs. Do not bend at the waist or the hips when you put your shoes and socks on. Do not bend down to pick up things from the floor. Use a raised toilet seat for the first couple of weeks. Your doctor will tell you when it is OK to use a regular toilet seat. Do not sleep on your stomach or on the side you had your surgery. What are the Warning Signs of a Blood Clot in Your Lungs? Blood clots that form in the veins in your legs, arms, and groin can break loose and move to other parts of your body, including your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs is called a pulmonary embolism. If this happens, your life can be in danger. Go to the emergency room or call 911. A blood clot may have gone to your lungs if you suddenly have: 77 Hard time breathing 77 Chest pain 77 A fast heartbeat 77 Fainting spells 77 A mild fever 77 A cough, with or without blood Preventing Blood Clots After Knee or HiP rePlACement Surgery Instructions for Taking Care After Knee or Hip Replacement You have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery. Your doctor replaced your painful joint with a knee or hip prosthesis (artificial joint) to relieve pain and restore movement. Here are some instructions to follow once at home. Home Care 7 When you are allowed to shower, carefully wash your incision with soap and water. Rinse the incision well. Then gently pat it dry. Don’t rub the incision, or apply creams or lotions. Sit on a shower stool or chair when you shower to keep from falling. 7 Take pain medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Sitting and Sleeping 7 Sit in chairs with arms. The arms make it easier for you to stand up or sit down. 7 Don’t sit for more than 30-45 minutes at one time. 7 Nap if you are tired, but don’t stay in bed all day. 7 Sleep with a pillow under your ankle, not your knee. Be sure to change the position of your leg during the night. Moving Safely 7 The key to successful recovery is movement with walking and exercising your knee as directed by your doctor. You should be able to put full weight on your leg unless your doctor tells you otherwise. 7 Walk up and down stairs with support. Try one step at a time—good knee up, bad knee down. Use the railing if possible. 7 Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s OK. Most people can start driving about six weeks after surgery. Don’t drive while you are taking narcotic pain medication. Other Precautions 7 Wear the support stockings you were given in the hospital, as instructed by your doctor. You may wear these stockings for four to six weeks after surgery. If needed, you can place a bandage over the incision to prevent irritation from clothing or support stockings. 7 Arrange your household to keep the items you need handy. Keep everything else out of the way. Remove items that may cause you to fall, such as throw rugs and electrical cords. 7 Use nonslip bath mats, grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, and a shower chair in your bathroom. Taking Care After Surgery Download/print this PDF 13


P916_ABC_DVT_PE After Surgery
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