1. Swelling Management Plan
Directly after your surgery there will be a lot of swelling. The faster you begin to manage it, the sooner you will start to feel better. To decrease swelling as fast as possible talk to your home Physiotherapist about creating a routine to follow for the first 2 weeks. This routine will use compression to reduce swelling when you are up on your feet. It will build in frequent breaks to lie down and elevate your operated limb. You will be instructed on using ice regularly (a cryotherapy machine can be a great asset during this time). Follow your plan and you will have less pain, better mobility and a faster, more complete recovery from your surgery.
2. Mobility lessons
Most people do not think much about having to use crutches until they are on the way out of the hospital. They seem simple enough right? Not so fast. With a painful and limited leg, try ascending and descending stairs, how do you get on and off the toilet and into and out of the car. These are all things that you should learn and practice during a home Physiotherapy visit while your leg is still strong. This way when you return home after surgery you can get around like a pro.
3. Bathing lessons
When are you allowed to get your incisions wet? And what safety considerations are important for bathing during your post-op period? Will you need an elevated toilet seat? Everybody’s home is different, giving rise to many different showers and bath tubs. It can take a little strategizing on how to safely enter and exit a bathtub or shower. Many patients will benefit from a shower chair. It is best to get some advice and give these things a test run before the big day.
This is one area people tend not to think about. But it is a real challenge to get dressed when one leg is painful, stiff and generally out of commission. Your home Physiotherapist can help to ensure that everything you need is placed within your reach. They can also recommend tools to help with reaching and grasping tasks if necessary. And will teach you strategies to make things easier. For example, always dress your operated leg first and undress it last.
5. Early Exercises
You know that you have a lot of rehab to do, and it’s best if you start on day one! Your physiotherapist will teach you what to do in the first few days to make sure you get the head start you are looking for.