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  • PLANNING A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT?

    Here are some tips for those anticipating/ planning total knee replacement...

    1. Hospitals are turning to "bundled payments", meaning Medicare or private insurances pay only one check for all costs associated with a total joint replacement. Because a rehab stay is expensive and subtracts from the $$$ hospitals and surgeons make, surgeons are increasingly sending patients directly home. Therefore....

    2. You should make sure you have someone at home to assist you when you are discharged from the hospital. Sometimes a spouse can take time off from work or a relative can stay with you for a couple of weeks if you live alone.

    3. Assess your access to your home. Can you get in and out easily, using a walker? Do you have to climb stairs? Are there secure railings on your stairs--inside and outside?

    4) Assess safety within your home. Are there grab bars in the shower or tub? Will you need a tub seat or shower chair? Do you need grab bars or toilet frame with rails? Are there scatter rugs which might slide and cause a fall? What about small pets getting underfoot?

    5) Most hospitals offer total joint replacement classes, prior to surgery. These classes provide important information and a chance to ask questions.

    6) Stairclimbing can be difficult for some patients following surgery. If your bedroom and bathroom are upstairs, do you have an alternate bedroom on the first floor that you can use temporarily? Do you have access to a bathroom on the first floor?

    7) Elevation of the leg is important following surgery, to decrease edema (swelling). You may be able to create a makeshift set up of pillows or blankets. For a professional product designed for leg elevation/exercise following surgery order here http://leg-pac.com/#

    8) You may also need some special equipment for dressing or reaching objects. For this equipment, order here https://www.4mdmedical.com/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/230098/s/hip-knee-equipment-kit-hip-knee-equipment-package-w-26-66cm-reacher-c4109/?CAWELAID=120141310000056386&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplpSAMP210301&sc_intid=SAMP210301&gclid=CJ3UleiWlNQCFdmIswodFOUFhA

    9) Before leaving the hospital, arrange for someone to pick you up in a vehicle with a seat that is not too high. The passenger seat should be moved back to allow as much leg room as possible. Recline the seat slightly for comfort.

    10) If you don't already own a walker or cannot borrow one, the hospital will likely issue a walker billed to your insurance. If you have stairs with a railing on one side only, you may also need a cane for stairclimbing. You can purchase a cane at most medical supply stores or department stores such as WalMart. Many stores sell canes with colorful patterns and colors. Some patients like to match their cane and other accessories such as their purse and shoes!

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