Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Category » Surgery Recovery

Steps To Prepare Your Home Following Hip Replacement Surgery

A few weeks before you’re admitted to the hospital for hip replacement, you’ll want to begin making preparations for what to expect post-surgery during the recovery period. While some people may opt to spend a few weeks in a short-term inpatient rehab center, others prefer to go directly home.

If you do go home, remember that your spouse, a family member, friend or home health aide will need to assist you with daily activities for the first week or two since your mobility will be limited. You’ll need help with bathing, using the toilet, cooking, grocery shopping, and driving to doctor appointments.

To make your return home safer and more comfortable, here are some suggestions from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Consider it your pre-surgery to do list.

1. Sleep on the first floor. You won’t want to climb stairs, so if your bedroom is not on the first floor, designate any area for sleeping. Consider renting a hospital bed rather than sleeping on a couch. You’ll also want the bathroom on the first floor. If necessary, get a portable commode chair.

2. Avoid anything that you could strain your new hip joint. Many of today’s beds are oversize and high off the ground. Be sure that you can sit on the edge of the bed and have your feet easily touch the floor.

3. You won’t want to stand for too long, so place a firm-backed chair in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or other room you use frequently. That way you can sit to rest and to do daily tasks.

4. You’ll most likely be using a walker at first. Attach a bag or basket to the walker and place frequently used items in it such as a notepad, pen, tissue, cell phone and the remote control. It will make your life much easier.

5. Make meals in advance and freeze them so you won’t have to worry about cooking. If family or friends ask how they can help, have them prepare a meal for you. Get all items, especially toiletries that you may need now. You want to avoid have to shop for last minute items after you get home.

6. To avoid slipping and falling in the bathtub or shower, consider getting a special rubber-tipped shower chair. At the very least, place non-slip suction mats on the floor of the bathtub or shower floor. Installing grab bars in the bathroom is also a good idea.

7. Temporarily remove all loose throw rugs and make sure that the lighting is good throughout the house. You don’t want to risk tripping and falling.

8. Small pets can get underfoot easily. Consider asking a family member to take them for a short time, have them boarded at the kennel or if appropriate, have them stay outside in the yard during the first couple days or week.

Hip replacement is a very common orthopedic procedure. As the number of baby boomers age, the number of people undergoing the surgery is expected to increase considerably. For information about how the surgery is performed, go to

Going Home From The Hospital After Knee Surgery

If you or a family member will be having knee surgery, you might be wondering what to expect when you return home from the hospital. How much discomfort will you be in? Will you be able to get by without help or will you need someone to assist you? How soon will you get back to your regular activities?

Here is an overview of what you can expect for the first few days and weeks after your knee surgery.

1. You will definitely need someone to assist you at home – preferably a spouse or another family member who can stay with you around the clock for a while until you feel strong enough to manage on your own. Because you will not be able to drive a car for about six weeks, you will also need to rely on someone to take you back and forth to doctor appointments, to the grocery store or other errands.

2. Exercise is vital to recovery. Short walks are good and will strengthen the muscles in the upper and lower leg, while helping stabilize the knee joint. You will also be prescribed specific exercises to improve the range of motion and flexibility in your knee. A physical therapy may come to the house or you may go for therapy at the doctor’s office or outpatient center. Expect to use crutches or a walker at first to help you get around. And be sure to rest frequently and not overdo it at first.

3. Medication will be prescribed for pain control. It’s much easier to prevent the pain that to “chase it.” Take pain medication about 30 minutes before physical therapy. Ice packs and elevating the leg will help reduce swelling and discomfort. A footstool can be handy for elevating your leg.

4. For a few weeks, If you can avoid, sitting in chairs that are low to the ground, chairs without arms or overstuffed furniture. It will be difficult to pull yourself up and out of this type of furniture.

5. Expect to use crutches or a walker to help you get around at first. The doctor will let you know how soon you can put weight on the leg and knee that underwent the procedure. Always lead with your non-operated leg and knee first.

6. Don’t leave preparations to the last minute – get your home ready a week or so before surgery. Have the laundry done, the house cleaned, food shopping done and meals frozen and ready for when you need them.

7. Remove throw rugs and eliminate clutter, including moving furniture if necessary, to avoid tripping or falling when you get home.

8. Some final tips for when you do get home:

• Don’t attempt to carry anything. Attach a bag or basket to your walker to make it easier to carry small items. Slide items along the counter rather than picking them up and carrying them.
• To make showering easier, use a hand-held shower hose and be sure to place a non-skid rubber mat on the bottom of the shower stall or bathtub.
• Use liquid soap so you won’t have to worry about bending over to pick up a bar of soap if you drop it.
• Avoid climbing stairs. If you do have to use stairs, make sure there is a handrail to help you.
• Expect full recovery to take approximately six to eight weeks.

For more information, visit

Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery

After orthopedic surgery for injuries like rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, ACL injuries in the knee or joint replacement, physical therapy is a key part of rehabilitation.

Muscles, tendons, cartilage and bone may be weakened from injury and surgery and will need a structured program of progressive exercise. The goal of physical therapy is to help patients rebuild their strength, improve their range of motion and get back to their daily routine and independence faster. It also lessens the chance of re-injury at a later date.

Depending on the injury or surgery, complete rehabilitation may take several months. It also requires motivation. Exercises and putting weight on your injured limb may be uncomfortable at first, but following the instructions of your doctor and the physical therapist will allow you to gradually see a noticeable improvement in your mobility and level of pain. A walker, crutches, splints, ice packs and pain medication will be prescribed to help you cope during the rehabilitation period.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, early mobilization also helps improve circulation after surgery to reduce the potential risk for blood clots. If your surgery requires hospitalization, you can expect to begin physical therapy the day after your procedure. The therapist will assist you in correctly transferring from the bed to a standing position as you begin to put weight on your injured limb. You will receive a structured exercises to do both at the hospital and at home.

Patients recovering from a variety of orthopedic conditions can receive onsite physical therapy at the offices of Dr. John Kagan. For complete listing of orthopedic services provided by Dr. Kagan go to

What is Knee Arthroscopy Surgery?

The trend in surgery today is toward a minimally invasive approach that is less traumatic to the body. This is especially true for knee surgery, where it’s possible to repair damage to ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone without the need for large, open incisions, an overnight hospital stay and a very lengthy recovery period.

Minimally invasive procedures are possible thanks to improvements in technology, such as the development of tiny fiber-optic scopes that can be inserted into the body through incisions or “portals” only three to four millimeters in diameter.

While the incision is small, the surgeon’s ability to perform the procedure isn’t compromised by a tiny view. Instead, a small lens, light source and video camera on the end of the scope sends images of the knee joint to a large monitor in the operating room, which gives the surgeon a “big picture” and a clear view of the operating field.

Additional incisions are made to allow the surgeon to insert small surgical instruments into the knee joint. These tiny instruments are used to repair damage to the knee caused by an accident, sports or other situations or to reduce pain and disability caused by degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports five common reasons why patients undergoing knee arthroscopy:

1. Remove or repair a torn meniscus
2. Reconstruct a torn ACL, anterior cruciate ligament
3. Trim torn pieces of articular cartilage
4. Remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage
5. Remove inflamed synovial tissue

For more information about the kinds of conditions that benefit from arthroscopic knee surgery, go to

Recovery From Knee Surgery

Once you’ve made the decision to have knee replacement surgery, you may wonder what the recovery period will be like.

During the first few days in the hospital, a physical therapist will come to your room to help you begin a gentle exercise regimen. Don’t be surprised when you’re asked to get up and out of bed the day after surgery. The objective is to stretch and strengthen the knee muscles and improve your range of motion as quickly as possible.

The therapist will guide you in putting weight on the knee and walking down the hall with the aid of a walker. You will also exercise your knee using a continuous passive motion machine, a piece of equipment that will automatically move the knee while you lie in bed. Pain medication will be prescribed to help with any discomfort you feel as the knee heals.

Once you leave the hospital, you will continue to use a walker and then a cane as your knee heals. Physical therapy will be an important part of your recovery. You will receive exercises to do at home, but may also have a physical therapist come to your home or you can go to an outpatient center.

If you live alone, talk with your doctor about the benefits of going to a rehab facility for a short time versus having someone come to the house to help you. For the first few weeks after your surgery you will need help with basic tasks including cooking, bathing, doing laundry, driving and grocery shopping. You can expect it to take about four to six weeks to resume all your normal day-to-day activities.

If you decide to go home, a little advance planning is helpful. If your bedroom is on the second floor, set up a temporary bedroom on the first floor so you can avoid over-stressing the knee by walking up and down stairs.

Check your home for items that may cause you to trip and fall. Remove throw rugs, eliminate clutter in hallways or doorways and rearrange furniture if necessary. Installing a handrail or grab bar in the bathroom is another good idea. Make sure basic items that you’ll need every day are easily accessible.

For more information knee replacement surgery or other orthopedic-related conditions, go to

Therapy After Hip Replacement Surgery

Physical therapy is essential for a successful recovery from hip replacement surgery. Physical therapists are trained to help people who have been injured or ill improve their ability to walk, handle daily activities and regain their independence.

Under the guidance of the therapist, you will perform specific exercises to help strengthen the joint and muscles. Participating in therapy will allow you to return to everyday activities faster and stronger.

Physical therapy begins while you are still in the hospital. Medication will reduce discomfort as you gradually learn to put more weight on the joint, balance without falling and walk with an assistive device such as a walker. You may also be asked to do simple exercises while you are in bed, such as tightening the muscles in your legs and pointing your feet.

When you are ready to leave the hospital, the therapist will give you certain exercises that are to be performed daily at home. The therapist will also teach you how to get in and out of the car, tie your shoes, sit in a chair and get in and out of the bathtub without damaging the new joint. For a while you will need to avoid putting too much stress on the joint. You will also attend therapy sessions at the doctor’s office or outpatient center until you have made sufficient progress and can resume an active lifestyle.

For more information about rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, go to

Managing pain after surgery

Managing pain is the No. 1 concern that most patients have as they prepare for surgery. My team and I make every effort to educate our patients about what to expect and the options for controlling their post-surgical pain. While most patients can expect to experience some pain and discomfort, there are many options available to help manage your pain.

Following surgery, your doctor and nurse may prescribe pain medication to help you feel more comfortable. There are many types of medications that can help control pain. These include opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics. Controlling pain is not only important to helping you feel better, but it’s an important step in your healing process. As your pain subsides, you can start moving sooner and regain your strength and mobility. When conventional pain management is ineffective, some patients may choose to pursue alternative approaches such as acupuncture. Discuss these options with your surgeon before beginning any pain management therapy.

Because pain and response to medication is different for each patient, we tailor the treatment for each patient accordingly. Therefore, it is important to discuss your concerns and pain level with your doctors and nurses so they can help you control you pain so you can begin to heal and resume your normal activities.

For more information or discuss your treatment options, please contact my office at 239-936-6778 or visit

Preparing your mind for surgery

Last week I blogged about completing a “to do list” to get prepared for surgery. But just as important as getting pre-operative tests and paperwork complete, so is preparing yourself emotionally for surgery.

First, talk to your surgeon and understand your condition and treatment. If surgery is the next step, what does the procedure involve? How long will you be hospitalized and what can you expect the recovery to be like?  How will you manage pain? Understanding what to expect can help ease anxiety.

Next, identify a support system. Who will help care for you after surgery? How will you get home and to and from your follow up visits?  Establishing support from family and friends can also help you prepare emotionally for surgery. However, no matter how well your surgery goes, your emotional health matters too. Studies show that patients lacking support systems have less satisfactory results following joint replacement surgery, spine surgery and sports medicine surgery.

If you have concerns about how you are coping before or after surgery, talk to your doctor so we can provide the proper resources to help you manage anxiety, depression or other concerns you might have to best support your recovery.

If you have questions, please call 239-936-6778 or visit

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