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How to Prepare Your Home for 
Outpatient Total Knee and Hip Surgery

August 05, 2021

Here at Bluegrass Orthopaedics, our outpatient total hip and knee patients go home the same day, or potentially the next morning after surgery. We encourage our patients to rest for approximately 2-4 weeks - they can be "couch potatoes"! This means that they should plan on not doing many of their normal activities around the house, ensure they have help at home, and should make some changes to their home environment. Here are some things to consider:

  • Determine where you will be recovering. Prepare a chair or bed where you will spend most of your time. It is important to keep your leg elevated to control swelling. You will need plenty of pillows and possibly a foot stool to use for positioning. This is also a good time to declutter your home. You will need clear pathways that a walker can easily pass. Remove up any throw rugs and you may need to move furniture and electrical cords. Clean, dust and vacuum as you will not be able to do this for several weeks after surgery. Make sure you have your phone, cell phone, and charger nearby.
  • Purchase necessary equipment. You will come home with a walker. Other things to consider are elevated commodes, bedside commodes, grab bars for the shower, shower chairs or benches, and a non-skid mat for the shower. Your therapist will let you know if you will need a cane. Make sure you have plenty of ice packs or ice/frozen water bottles to use if you purchase a ice machine. Have non-skid socks and comfortable clothing to wear.
  • Have a recovery caregiver. You will need help after surgery and it is important to have that arranged prior to surgery. Caregivers help with medications, exercises, walking, showers and activities of daily living (ADLs), getting ice, grocery shopping, preparing meals, and household chores. Try to prepare meals ahead of time and plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Keep in touch! Make sure the doctor and therapist have your correct contact information. Make sure to answer your phone after surgery. You will be getting calls from the Doctor's office, therapist, and the surgery center. You may not recognize these numbers, so it is important to answer your phone and check messages.

Taking simple steps before surgery will help to make the first few days after surgery less stressful and get you on your way to a speedy recovery.

About the author:

Tracy Keenoy, PT