Apr 12, 2020

Recovering from Joint Replacement Surgery During the Time of COVID-19

Posted By: Richard Iorio, MD

During this time of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many outpatient and in home service, such as physical therapy, nursing visits, care givers, and physician visits for hip and knee replacements, are being postponed, transitioned to telemedicine, or referred to on line applications or platforms. This is necessary to ensure proper hospital staff and resources are available to care for patients affected by this virus. People are being asked to practice social distancing in their communities and also to avoid hospitals and clinics unless they are ill. In the meantime, what can you do to take care of your recovering hip and knee joints?

Follow-up Visits Postponed? Here’s what you can do after surgery:

Following your exercise routine, taking your medications prescribed by your doctor, and getting a good night’s sleep are very important on the road to recovery after hip or knee replacement. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons recommends the following:

  1. 1. Take your prescription and over-the-counter medication as directed by your doctor.
  2. 2. Practice rest, ice, compression and elevation.
  3. 3. Exercise!

Communicate with Your Surgeon

Even though it’s best to stay away from hospitals and clinics right now unless you are seriously ill, stay in touch with your doctor when you experience the following issues related to your hip or knee joints:

  • ● Experiencing pain that isn’t controlled by the prescribed medications
  • ● Have significantly increased swelling and/or pain
  • ● Persistent wound drainage
  • ● Concerns about incision
  • ● Sustain an injury

You can probably connect by phone. Check with your doctor’s office to see what options they may have in place to connect with you virtually – like with a video call or patient engagement app for your smartphone or tablet. Telehealth options are rapidly emerging and is potentially an option to connect with your health care team.

Getting Past the Pandemic

During these trying times it is important to remember that avoiding the hospital and outpatient clinics is for your own benefit and the greater good of our communities, as all hospital resources are necessary to treat and prevent the spread of this virus.

Please be patient with your physician and their staff as many people have been affected by the disruption in care. Your doctor will reschedule canceled surgeries and address your needs as soon as possible.

Our system is resilient. Elective surgeries and follow-up appointments will resume as soon as it is safe and the resources are available.

Please be a patient with patience!

For information regarding COVID-19, please visit the CDC website for the latest guidelines. Please visit MyArthritisRx.com for help with caring for your arthritis and recovering from your surgery.

We acknowledge at MyArthritisRx the contribution of Brett R. Levine, MD and the AAHKS Patient and Public Relations Committee and the AAHKS Evidence Based Medicine Committee for their contribution to this blog.

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