Recovering From Joint Replacement

After joint replacement surgery, depend on Essentia Health to provide high-quality care and support so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Your Hospital Stay

Plan to stay in the hospital one or two nights after your total hip replacement or total knee replacement surgery. You can expect to be walking and count on your care team to check in with you often to help you recover comfortably.

Physical Therapy

Expect to begin physical therapy within 24 hours of your surgery. Work with your physical therapist to perform gentle exercises that help you regain your strength, mobility, and range of motion. We’ll also help you walk with a walker or crutches. Depending on where you have your joint replacement procedure, you may join other patients for group physical therapy classes, too.

Occupational Therapy

Learn ways to more easily, safely complete daily tasks, such as dressing and bathing, from an occupational therapist.

Going Home After Joint Replacement

In most cases, you’ll go directly home after you leave the hospital. Ask a family member or friend to stay with you and assist with meal preparation, household chores, errands, and more. If you need additional assistance at home, learn about home health care services.

If you need further nursing or therapy care before returning home, your care team may recommend short-term rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility.

Home Exercises

To achieve the best outcome from your joint replacement procedure, follow your physical therapy exercise program at home. Depending on your progress, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend outpatient physical therapy.

After reaching your recovery goals, work with your primary care provider and orthopedic surgeon to determine a regular exercise plan that can help you stay well without putting your new joint at risk.

Long-Term Follow-Up Care

Maintain your health by following your orthopedic surgeon’s recommendations for follow-up visits. We’ll monitor your replaced joint so we can detect any potential problems early and prevent complications.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your orthopedic surgeon if you experience:

  • Mild pain in your replaced joint for more than one week
  • Moderate to severe pain in your replaced joint that requires pain medicines
  • Signs of infection, such as pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, fever, or wound drainage

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