Everything You Need To Know About Total Joint Replacement Post-Op Rehab

When you undergo a total joint replacement surgery, the post-operative rehabilitation process is just as important as the surgery itself. In fact, many surgeons will not even release their patients to go home until they have started on the road to recovery in a physical therapy program. Here's what you need to know about total joint replacement post-op rehab.

What is total joint replacement?

Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged parts of a joint are removed and replaced with new, artificial parts. This surgery is usually performed to relieve pain and restore function in a joint that has been damaged by arthritis or injury. Common joints that are improved by joint replacement surgery are the knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles.

What can you expect post-op?

After total joint replacement surgery, you can expect to feel some pain and stiffness. This is normal and usually goes away as your incisions heal and your muscles and joints get used to the new joint. To help relieve your pain and keep your newly replaced joint working well, your doctor will probably prescribe a course of physical therapy.

What are total joint replacement post-op rehab options?

There are several different types of therapy that can be used to help you recover after total joint replacement surgery. Your doctor will work with you to create a rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your needs and goals.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pain management are all common types of post-op rehabilitation for total joint replacement patients. Your doctor will likely recommend a combination of these therapies to help you regain full range of motion, strength, and function in your new joint.

  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy is a common type of rehabilitation for total joint replacement patients where you will work with a licensed physical therapist to regain range of motion and strength in your new joint. Your physical therapist may also teach you exercises to help that you can do at home.
  • Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is another type of rehabilitation for total joint replacement patients. Occupational therapists work with patients to help them regain the skills needed for daily activities. This may include activities such as cooking, dressing, and bathing.
  • Pain management options. Your doctor may also recommend that you use pain medication to help relieve your post-op pain. There are a variety of different pain medications available, and your doctor will work with you to find the best option for you.

When can you return to normal activities after total joint replacement post-op rehab?

Many people who undergo joint replacement surgery can return to their normal activities within a few months depending on the surgery area. However, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and not overdo it. Too much activity too soon can put too much stress on your new joint and cause problems.

If you have any concerns about your post-op rehabilitation, be sure to talk to your doctor.