Prepare Your Home for Your Needs After Surgery

woman in distress“You may not view them as such now, but after surgery, you will have a heightened sense of awareness of the numerous hazards and obstacles in your house,” says board-certified orthopedic surgeon Archie C. Perry, Jr., MD. “By making the following adjustments, your house can be a more conducive environment to your post-surgery needs.”

  • Fix and/or be aware of any uneven flooring in your house or uneven concrete on your driveway or patio.
  • If you have steps leading up to your house, try wiggling the railing to gauge its stability, and tighten the screws if necessary.
  • If you have outdoor steps without a railing, discuss installing one, especially if your surgery will take place during the winter months.
  • Set up a temporary bedroom for yourself if your bedroom is not on the main floor. If there are items you may need from another level of the house, be sure to collect them prior to surgery and have them at a close distance. Keep in mind that this room should be a low-traffic area of the house because you will need plenty of rest.

Be Ready to Get on Your Feet After Your Procedure

“Total joint replacement procedures have advanced surgical techniques and recovery protocols that can dramatically reduce pain and increase patient function earlier after total joint replacement than past times,” says board-certified orthopedic surgeon Mark Allen, DO, who is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee.

“All patients are now required to walk within a few hours after their hip or knee replacement with the assistance of physical therapy. If they are doing well enough, they can be discharged home the same day if appropriate support at home is available. This is a notable difference compared to recovery protocols in place as few as 10 years ago.”

The Lowdown on High Heels: Tips for Your Feet

Taking preventive steps to possibly avoid orthopedic problems is important, too. To help protect your feet, consider these tips from Troy Watson, MD, a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the foot and ankle. “Of course, my first recommendation would be to not wear high-heeled shoes for optimal foot health, but if the night calls for them, there are a few tips that may reduce having sore feet and aggravating certain underlying conditions such as bunions,” he says.

  1. Look for shoes that are the most comfortable right out of the box (with ample cushioning in the forefoot to pad the ball of your foot).
  2. Open-toe shoes as a general rule may be better than closed-toe heels.
  3. Try and avoid stiletto-type heel shoes (which can sometimes lead to ankle injuries).
  4. Carry your high-heeled shoes while walking to a venue; then slip them on when you arrive.
  5. Consider commercially available inserts for heels.