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Post-Surgery Total Joint Replacement Guidelines


General Guidelines

  • Use your walker, cane or crutches until your physician advises otherwise.
  • Maintain and increase movement in the joint as directed by your physician.
  • When using stairs:
    Going up—use your stronger leg first, then the leg which had surgery.
    Going down—use the leg which had surgery first, then the stronger leg.
  • Do no cross your legs or ankles.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath.


Total Knee Replacement

  • Take small steps to turn your body.
  • Use a flat pillow or rolled towel under your ankle when resting.
  • Get up slowly and with assistance at the beginning.
  • Do not twist your knee.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time.
  • Do not lift heavy objects.
  • Do not kneel on the new knee.


 Total Hip Replacement

  • Walk with your feet a comfortable width apart, keeping your toes forward.
  • Sleep on your back with a pillow between your knees, or on the side which has not had surgery with a pillow between your knees.
  • Use a raised toilet seat.
  • Do not raise your knees higher than your hips.
  • Do not pivot (twist) the leg that had surgery.
  • Do not sit on low chairs, couches, stools, rocking chairs, chairs with casters or low toilets.
  • Do not sit in cars with bucket seats.
  • Do not stand with your toes turned in.
  • Do not bend over far.


Before surgery

  • Follow exercises as instructed.
  • Do the exercises on a firm surface such as the floor or a bed with a bed board.

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