Undergoing joint replacement surgery can be a life-changing experience. Hip and knee replacements are two of the most common types of joint replacement surgery, offering relief from chronic pain, improved mobility, and overwhelmingly positive outcomes for patients.
Joint replacement surgery is still surgery, though, and your overall recovery largely depends on the steps you take afterward. Our team at Manhattan Orthopedics specializes in joint replacement, and we’re here to help ensure a smooth and speedy healing process.
Read on for four effective ways to accelerate healing after a joint replacement surgery.
1. Follow your surgeon's instructions
First and foremost, follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions closely. We give each patient personalized instructions based on their specific surgery and medical history.
Your post-op instructions may include a medication schedule, activity restrictions, and wound care tips. Following our guidelines is one of the best ways to prevent complications and promote a successful recovery.
Take prescribed medications as directed, and tell us about any unusual side effects or concerns you have. Be prepared to rest for a few days after your procedure. As you get up and begin moving, avoid strenuous activities and movements that could put excess strain on the new joint. Always keep the surgical site clean and dry, and monitor it for signs of infection.
2. Manage pain appropriately
Pain is an inevitable part of recovering from joint replacement surgery, and it’s important to manage your discomfort appropriately. Effective pain management is crucial not only for your comfort but also for your ability to engage in physical therapy and regain mobility.
We prescribe pain medications tailored to your needs. Always take these medications as directed to stay ahead of the pain and ensure a more comfortable recovery. Don’t wait to take the medication until the pain is severe, and don’t take more than prescribed.
As your healing progresses, we can adjust your medication regimen. We may also recommend complementary pain management techniques like elevation and ice therapy.
3. Eat well and stay hydrated
Nutritious food and water are vital for post-surgery recovery and your overall health. The nutrients found in healthy foods play a crucial role in tissue repair and immune function, both of which are essential for healing.
Make sure your diet includes:
- Protein-rich foods to support tissue repair and muscle strength
- Fiber to help prevent constipation, a common side effect of pain medications
- Vitamins C and D, calcium, and zinc for immune system and bone health
Hydration is equally important during recovery. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and ask our team about any dietary restrictions or supplements recommended for your specific recovery.
4. Participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation
Finally, physical therapy is a cornerstone of post-joint replacement recovery. It helps you regain strength, flexibility, and function in the replaced joint, and we recommend starting physical therapy shortly after your surgery.
Your physical therapist creates a customized exercise program tailored to your body and your specific needs. They guide you through exercises designed to improve joint mobility, strengthen surrounding muscles, and restore function to your hip or knee.
Along with your sessions, we give you exercises to do at home. Consistent attendance and active participation in physical therapy are among the best ways to accelerate healing and enjoy improved quality of life.
Recovering from joint replacement surgery requires commitment, patience, and a proactive approach to healing — but you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Book a consultation with our team at Manhattan Orthopedics to learn more about what to expect.
Call one of our offices in Astoria, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, New York, or request an appointment online now.