It's very important that you follow your surgeon's instructions. Additionally, here are some suggestions that may make life a little easier at home. Please discuss these with your surgeon before you are discharged from the hospital:
- If you'll be using a walker or crutches to assist with walking, ask your doctor how much weight you may put on your recovering leg.
- Remember that you'll probably tire more easily than usual. You may want to plan a rest period of 30 to 60 minutes midmorning and mid-afternoon.
- It's safer and easier to get in and out of chairs using both arms, and you should avoid low or overstuffed furniture. To increase your comfort, use a cushion or pillow to raise your body while seated.
- An elevated toilet seat may reduce stress to your knees as you sit and stand.
- A shelf placed in the shower at chest height may help you avoid bending to retrieve items while in the shower.
- A bathtub seat (bench) allows you to sit while bathing for increased safety and comfort.
- A long-handled bath sponge may be used to reach lower legs. Women can also purchase razor extenders for shaving their legs.
- Avoid sweeping, mopping, and running the vacuum cleaner. Use long-handled feather dusters for dusting high and low items. Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to sweep, mop, and vacuum.
- You may ride in a car, but you must follow your doctor's instructions for how to get in and out of the vehicle. You can raise the height of the car seat with pillows to protect your hips and knees as well. Your doctor will talk with you about when you can drive, typically within four to six weeks after surgery. If you have a car with manual transmission, talk with your doctor about driving limitations. Make sure you can use the brake without discomfort before you attempt to drive in traffic.
- Constipation is a common problem following surgery. This is usually due to your limited activity and any pain medications you may be taking. Discuss your diet with your doctor. It may include fresh fruits and vegetables as well as eight full glasses of liquid each day, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Your doctor will probably give you a prescription for pain pills. Please follow your doctor's instructions concerning these medications.
- Some swelling around the incision is normal. You'll find it more comfortable to wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on the incision. Ask your doctor or other qualified health professional about appropriate wound care.