What is a hip or knee replacement?
A hip or knee replacement is a surgical procedure where a damaged part of the hip or knee joint is removed and replaced by an artificial part called a prosthesis. People need hip or knee replacements for a variety of reasons including arthritis changes or orthopaedic trauma. Both hip and knee replacements are common procedures with well-rehearsed guidance on the recovery phase.
What are the common difficulties following a hip or knee replacement?
Due to the nature of joint replacement surgery it is important that the advice provided by the surgical and therapy team looking after you is closely followed. There are several areas that are challenging during the recovery and rehabilitation phase post hip or knee replacement, including:
- Ascending or descending the stairs
- Accessing the bath or shower
- Getting in and out of bed
- Getting on and off the toilet
- Bending to put on socks, shoes or trousers - there are strict rules around this, particularly for hip replacements
- Standing for periods of time to make drinks or meals
- Transporting drinks and meals around the house whilst requiring a walking stick or frame
If you would like to learn more about how we as occupational therapists can help people overcome common difficulties associated with a hip or knee replacement, you will find some useful links at the bottom of this page.
How can an occupational therapist help following a hip or knee replacement?
Following a hip or knee replacement your hospital-based occupational therapist is likely to have provided advice and information on how to progress post-discharge. It is important that this advice is followed. An independent occupational therapist can support this in the ways suggested below:
- Ensuring that you have all of the necessary equipment needed for your return home. We often visit clients before they are admitted for surgery to ensure that their equipment package is installed at home and they are fully familiar with its use for when they are discharged. The equipment is likely to include temporary raisers to chairs, beds, trolleys to move items around the home and special stools for use in the kitchen and shower.
- Providing support following discharge to facilitate the rehabilitation process. This may include recommending new techniques for washing or dressing, using the stairs, getting in and out of the car or carrying out daily activities in the safest and most energy-conserving way possible.