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P916_ABC_DVT_PE After 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 77When 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. 77 Take pain medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Sitting and Sleeping 77 Sit in chairs with arms. The arms make it easier for you to stand up or sit down. 77 Don’t sit for more than 30-45 minutes at one time. 77 Nap if you are tired, but don’t stay in bed all day. 77 Sleep with a pillow under your ankle, not your knee. Be sure to change the position of your leg during the night. Moving Safely 77 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. 77Walk up and down stairs with support. Try one step at a time—good knee up, bad knee down. Use the railing if possible. 77 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 77Wear 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. 77 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. 77 Use nonslip bath mats, grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, and a shower chair in your bathroom. 77 Until your balance, flexibility, and strength improve, use a cane, crutches, a walker, handrails, or someone to help you. 77 Keep your hands free by using a backpack, fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things. 77 Prevent infection. Ask your doctor for instructions if you haven’t already received them. Any infection will need to be treated immediately with antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you think you might have an infection. 14


P916_ABC_DVT_PE After Surgery
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