10 Tips for those caring for Orthopaedic Patients.

Knee and Hip replacement post operative patient care

Recovering from hip and  knee replacement surgery can be challenging, especially without the help of friends and family members.

For many people, the first few days at home are the most difficult. The person you’re caring for is likely to be tired and in pain. They may be frustrated or scared because it’s difficult for them to get around and do things on their own.

This is when you’re most needed. It’s important to be patient with your loved one as you adapt to your new role. Here are 10 things you can do to help make this transition smooth.

1.  Basics

Prepare your home for your patient's return. Make sure you have adequate access and the floorings are cleared of any tripping hazards.. Prepare for essential requirements"

  • pillows for elevation of the lower leg (knee)
  • bedside commode or urinal if the bathroom isn’t accessible
  • bed that isn’t too high or low off of the ground
  • ice packs for the knee (will be supplied by Townsville lower limb clinic for the 1st 10 days upon discharge)
  • a telephone or cellphone (with charger) to call for help
  • medications that are easily accessible, neatly arranged, and easily identifiable
  • walker or crutches
  • writing materials to take notes or list questions
  • sensible sleepwear
  • sensible shoes that are safe for walking around the house in (non slip)
  • lights or lamps that can easily be controlled
  • appropriate toiletries

The most difficult task for patients in the immediate post operative period is putting on and taking off the TEDS stocking. 

2. Medications and Wound Care

It’s important that all medications are taken as prescribed. You may need to help gather the medications, make sure they’re administered on schedule, and monitor and renew prescriptions from the pharmacy.

You’ll also need to monitor the wound for swelling and inflammation. There is no need for you to change the wound dressing. If you have any concerns with the dressings or if the wound is discharging and the dressing is soaked please call Alicia Harris on 4727 4111.

Pain relief medications like Endone and Targin cause constipation. Use of prescribed laxatives will help. You patient should be given a bottle of Lactulose on discharge from the hospital . Your patient should take 20mls twice a day. 

Xeralto (pink tablet) is a blood thinner and is a once only dose. This prevents blood clots and is essential in the post operative phase. If the would remains oozy then this may need to be withheld for a short time until the wounds drys out. Please contact Alicia Harris on 4727 411 for further instruction on this.

3.Household chores

With enhanced recovery portals patients are very independent upon there discharge from Hospital.

Some elderly patients may have difficulty with activities that  involves standing for long periods of time, stretching, or bending.

They may have a hard time completing household chores, preparing meals, or performing other tasks that require them to move from room to room. If possible, take on some of these chores or arrange for outside help.

You may also need to assist with shopping and meal preparation for a while. Consider preparing frozen meals in advance, and asking other friends or family members to drop off meals during the first few weeks of recovery.

It’s important that your loved one is eating nutritious foods, taking prescribed supplements, and getting enough rest immediately following surgery.

4. Medical Appointments

Post operative appoints will be made for your patient  on discharge. This will be given to the patient in an envelope with other very useful information that you and your patient should read.

The initial appointment is on the 10th post operative day. You will need to make arrangements to bring the patient to our offices at the Mater Hospital as the patient won't be able to drive for 6 weeks post surgery. 

Unfortunately parking is a problem around the Mater Hospital so we encourage you to drop the patient off at the front of the hospital (Fulham Rd entrance) in front of Queensland X ray and ask them to sit on the bench and rest while you go and park the car.

5.Provide motivation for rehab and exercises

Adhering to a rehab plan is critical. If possible you should have discussed the rehabilitation protocol with the physiotherapist at the hospital before discharge.This will help you understand the requirements and help motivate your patient. 

Exercises after surgery can be painful. Please make sure the patient has taken the  provided analgesia tablets (Endone or Targin) at least 20 mins before excercise.

Helping them chart their efforts, results, and progress may be motivating. Exercising and walking with them may also help keep them on track.

 6.Keep a list of questions for medical professionals

It’s common to have questions after surgery and during rehabilitation. Go old school with a pen and paper pad or download a note-taking app so you can jot down questions as they arise.

You may also find that as you tend to your patient, you have questions of your own about proper care. Documenting your questions and concerns will help you remember to discuss them with us at the next appointment.

7.Watch for changes

If you notice any significant change in their physical condition or mental state, it’s important to contact Alicia immediately. Complications from the surgery, changes in the wound, and side effects from medication must be addressed promptly.

Please call 4727 4111 or e mail .

8. Keep up with paperwork

A hip or knee replacement is a complex procedure that requires many professional services. As a result, a flurry of bills and reports will arrive from multiple providers and locations over the span of several weeks.

Dealing with the physical recovery process may already be stressful. Falling behind on paperwork and bills can add to that anxiety. If you can, take the lead on any actionable notices. Staying on top of the paperwork can help your patient focus on recovery.

If you have any questions regarding bills call Alyssa on 4727 4111 or e mail .

9. Provide emotional support

Although a knee  or Hip replacement is physically taxing, there’s also an important mental aspect to recovery and rehab.

Your patient  may become frustrated or impatient with the pain or a perceived lack of progress. Poor mobility may impact their attitude and sense of self-worth. By providing ongoing support and encouragement, you can help your friend or family member speed up the recovery process, stay on track, and do the work needed for a full recovery.

10. Take care of yourself

It can be difficult to care for someone else if you don’t take care of yourself. Take breaks and focus on staying patient and relaxed. Enlist other friends or family members for help

Location

Mater Medical Centre
Level 2, Suite 101
25 Fulham Road, Pimlico QLD 4812

Contact Details

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