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What can you do/not do after a total joint replacement?

After a total joint replacement, you will expect to return to your normal life, without the pain. This takes time, and being active through this healing process is of utmost importance for a successful outcome.

During the immediate postoperative period, you will be able to do most of the activities of daily living, but you have to take care and avoid the activities that exert excessive stress on your newly replaced joint. Generally, the following precautions need to be taken while you stay active.

  • Driving: It is better to resume driving once you are off narcotic pain medications and when you have recovered good strength and reflexes.
  • Walking: After the follow-up visit (6 weeks), you can start using a cane to walk and move about. Walk with the help of a cane as much as you want for as long as you are comfortable.
  • Sleeping position: You may sleep on your back, on your sides, or on your stomach without any restrictions.
  • Return to work: It may require at least 6 weeks to return to work depending on the type of activities you perform at work. You should avoid lifting heavy objects after you return to work. Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time. Avoid certain activities such as frequent climbing of stairs or ladders. Avoid positions such as kneeling, bending, stooping forward that may put the newly replaced joint under strain.
  • Regular exercises: Perform exercises taught by your physical therapist for 2 months after surgery. Low-impact activities such as swimming may be started as soon as the wound has healed completely.
  • Diet: Proper nutrition is essential for healing. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods that help promote healing such as eggs, fish, and chicken. You should have an adequate intake of fluids (at least eight glasses a day). 

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/