Prior to going in for orthopedic surgery it is ideal to begin advanced planning to prepare yourself and your home for the recovery process. After surgery has been completed, you will likely be sent home with special instructions on how to heal over time. It will be extremely important to follow the instructions and recommendations of the surgeon until you are completely rehabilitated. Discuss your discharge plans with your physician in advance so that you can begin to get things in order.
Enlist a Few People to Help
At the top of the list is enlisting some help. After surgery you are not going to be able to drive yourself home. You must also keep in mind that you will also feel some pain and discomfort in the few days to follow the surgery. Moving around and tending to daily tasks may be a bit complicated. Ask a friend or family member to help you out for a few days with daily chores and caring for any small children and pets. It may be ideal to ask more than one person just to be on the safe side.
Remove All Obstacles
Bending and walking are going to be very difficult after having surgery and therefore you will need to remove all obstacles to avoid falling and causing bodily harm. Make a clear path from your bedroom (or wherever you intend to spend the better part of your day) to other commonly used areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. It might also be ideal to make sure that there is a source of light near pathways to prevent you from tripping in the middle of the night.
Make Necessities Accessible
Since you’re not going to want to get up every single time you need something, it is best to position things in a way that are easy for you to grab. Things such as your TV remote, medications, telephones, mobile devices, and reading materials should all be placed near your couch or bed so you can reach them without having to get up too often.
Prepare Your Meals
Standing for long periods of time to prepare meals can really put a lot of strain on your legs and back. Therefore, preplanning your meals and even cooking them in advance can save you a lot of time. Plan meals for at least a week and prepare as much of the meal as you can. Once the meal is completed, package it in individual, microwave safe containers and freeze them. When you’re recovering from surgery you can simply place the container in the microwave and heat it for a few minutes.
Transportation to Appointments and Other Locations
There will likely be various follow up appointments and therapy sessions that you have to participate in after surgery. You will need to make sure that you have a reliable source of transportation to get you to and from those appointments as well as other locations such as the grocery store. Again, simply enlist a few family members or friends to help out on the weekly basis.
By completing all of the above mentioned tasks, you are sure to find recovering at home from orthopedic surgery to be a lot less stressful. Be sure to follow up with your physician about other restrictions specific to your condition. Try to plan everything at least a week or two before your surgery to avoid stressing at the last minute.