In your final few days in the hospital after knee surgery, your doctor will speak with you about how to continue your recovery at home. While you're eager to get back to the familiar surroundings of your own home, consider the challenges of recovering quickly there. Will you be able to focus on your recovery, or will there be too many distractions at home? You may find that the swiftest way to a full recovery is to continue it in a facility that keeps you focused.
Where You Recover Can Make a Difference
Your total knee replacement surgery was a complex procedure affecting bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. While you are walking on your knee before you leave the hospital, full recovery is slow and can take up to 12 weeks. You'll be tasked with a number of instructions and types of therapy to get your knee back into shape.
When at home, you might be tempted to get back into your daily activities too soon, pushing yourself to do more than what you're ready for. Or you may take the other approach and decide that rest is the priority, so you don't exercise your knee enough. You have to have a high degree of self-discipline to stay focused on your rehabilitation.
Another option is to stay at a short term rehabilitation facility. You will retain a level of independence, but will be surrounded by people who will help you stay on track with your recovery. Many facilities will have the special therapy services that you'll need, or contract with professionals who will come to work with you. The following therapies are often a part of rehabilitation from total knee surgery.
Besides walking, you'll have a number of exercises to get your knee strong again. All of the muscles that bend and turn your knee were affected by the surgery so they need physical therapy to strengthen them and keep them flexible. A rehabilitation center will have the people and equipment to help you do this every day. The staff will measure your progress and give you a little nudge if you need some encouragement.
In the first few weeks after surgery, you may still have some pain and swelling. Another advantage of recovering in a rehabilitation facility is the availability of staff to monitor these conditions and provide pain medication as needed.
These therapists will show you ways to accomplish your daily activities while your knee is healing. Their work can overlap with the physical therapists'. For example, it's important to not force your knee to turn or bend beyond certain limits during your recovery. The occupational therapist will show you how to get in and out of bed, a chair, or the bathtub and shower so you don't put too much stress on your knee.
Choosing to finish your recovery in a short term rehabilitation center like The Village At Morrisons Cove lets you focus on your knee and its health. You won't have the distractions that you would at home, and you'll have skilled people to supervise your progress. It may be the best option for you to have a quick and complete recovery.
When you're facing putting your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you want to make the best possible choice for your loved one. That can be difficult when you don't know much about the nursing homes in your area, or about what you should be looking for in a nursing home to begin with. It's a good idea to tour as many facilities in your area as possible to get an idea of which ones you like, but you still need to know what the signs of a good or bad nursing home are. I used to work as a kitchen assistant in long term care facilities, and I learned a lot about them during that time. I started this blog to share some of my insights into what makes a nursing home great, and how to spot problems in a facility that you're considering.