Before you head home from the hospital, ask your doctor these questions about how to best care for your new knee or hip.
How long will I need to use crutches or a walker after I go home?
- How much walking can I do?
- When can I begin to place weight on my new joint? How much?
- Do I need to be careful about how I sit or move around?
- What are things that I cannot do?
- Will I be able to walk without pain? How far?
- When will I be able to do other activities, such as golf, swimming, tennis, or hiking?
Will I have pain medicines when I go home? How should I take them?
Will I need to take blood thinners when I go home? How long would it be?
How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?
- How much help will I need when I come home? Will I be able to get out of bed
- How can I make my home safer for me?
- How can I make my home easier to get around?
- How can I make it easier for myself in the bathroom and shower?
- What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
- Do I need to rearrange my home?
- What should I do if there are steps that go to my bedroom or bathroom?
What are the signs that something is wrong with my new hip or knee? How can I prevent problems with my new hip or knee?
How do I take care of my surgical wound?
- How often should I change the dressing? How do I wash the wound?
- What should my wound look like? What wound problems do I need to watch out for?
- When do sutures and staples come out?
- Can I take a shower? Can I take a bath or soak in the hot tub?
- When can I go back to see my dentist? Do I need to take any antibiotics before seeing the dentist?
This article first appeared on NIH.gov.