Will I Need A Cane After Joint Surgery?
1.25 million Americans have joint replacement surgery each year. When a patient needs joint replacement surgery, surgeons remove or replace damaged joints. In doing so, patients can experience a notable decrease in pain along with a boost in quality of life. However, several weeks of rest are necessary to ensure proper healing. In some cases, a mobility tool can prove useful. Medically known as an assistive device, a walker, cane, or other tool helps maintain stability while in the immediate recovery stages. Afterward, a daily low-impact exercise plan focused on building back muscle helps patients restore range of motion.
Consistency is power
Directly after surgery, patients will begin leg lifting without assistance to start developing strength. Patients may need to use a walker or cane in the first few weeks of recovery. Within 2-3 weeks, most patients will be walking without an assistive device. To maximize healing, physical therapy will start within a few weeks after surgery. In addition to mobility movements like straight leg raises, make time for cardiovascular exercise, such as using the elliptical or stationary bike. Gentle cardio strengthens the leg muscles while keeping stress off the quadriceps, keeping the need for assistive devices at a minimum.
Healing at home
Recovering with all the comforts of home is ideal for the vast majority of patients. To limit the possibility of reinjuring the new joint, plan to avoid activities with a high risk of falling. To limit injury, doctors recommend installing mobility devices such as a raised toilet seat and clearing pathways to avoid tripping in cluttered areas of the home. If useful, patients can also cook extra meals before the procedure, which limits physical activity while elevating nutrient levels.
Getting your nutrients
Proper vitamin levels, 8 or more hours of sleep, staying hydrated, and minimizing stress boost the likelihood of a successful recovery. To ensure the body accepts the new joint, prioritize a healthy diet in the weeks and months after surgery. Foods rich in calcium, iron, and fiber regulate the digestive system while giving the body vital building blocks needed to build new muscle.
Daily life, without the pain
With a new joint and an as-needed assistive device, patients can enjoy peace of mind with pain-free movement. In some cases, an assistive device such as a walker or cane can help stabilize the patient and limit the risk of reinjury. After the procedure, minimizing the possibility of re-injuring the joint as much as possible is paramount to rapidly regaining mobility. While any surgery is a challenge, patients can fully prepare by cultivating healthy habits and coordinating the comforts of home before recovery even begins.