As you prepare for your surgery, hospital stay and recovery period, a health care team will work with your surgeon to help you along your journey.
Members of your health care team include:
You will schedule a health history and physical exam with your primary care provider within 30 days of your surgery. He or she will give you instructions for taking your medicines and make sure you are healthy enough for surgery. Your primary care provider will continue to help manage your care during and after surgery.
Your surgeon is a specially trained doctor who will perform your surgery.
Nursing staff will instruct, support and guide you. They will coordinate your daily activities and help you with mobility, treatments, personal care, pain management and discharge planning (planning for leaving the hospital).
Physical therapists will create an exercise program to fit your specific needs. They will work with you to strengthen your new joint and supporting muscles, instruct you in mobility and transfer techniques and teach you to safely use a walker or crutches.
Occupational therapists will teach you how to perform your activities of daily living as independently as possible, following the restrictions outlined (if any) by your surgeon and using care equipment as necessary. Examples of these tasks include getting in and out of bed, on and off the toilet and shower chair safely, dressing, personal hygiene and household chores.
Your occupational therapist can assist you with deciding which types of smaller care equipment you will need (such as a reacher or sock aide) and will recommend types of shower chairs and raised toilet seats according to your personal needs after surgery.
Social workers/care management specialists will work closely with you to help plan your discharge. They will also work with your family and friends to identify the support they can offer while you recover. They will also provide you with information on community resources available. They will help you understand your insurance benefits and how they can meet your discharge needs.
You may also be visited by other doctors (not your primary care provider or surgeon) in the hospital who will help manage your care after surgery. Other health care providers, including home health, dietary, pastoral care and respiratory care may also see you.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Total Knee Replacement, fourth edition, ortho-ah-90140
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
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