The road to recovery after a knee replacement procedure can be a long one filled with ups and downs. Recovering from a knee replacement involves pain management, physical therapy, and a lot of patience. After a knee replacement, once-simple tasks such as taking a shower or just walking from one room to another can be impossible without assistance for at least six weeks. However, a stay in a short-term rehab facility, also called a skilled nursing facility, can make this recovery time much easier physically and psychologically and even help you recover more quickly. Read on to learn two benefits of staying in a short-term rehab facility after obtaining a knee replacement surgery.
1. Patient Aids Can Help You Perform All Of Your Daily Activities
While short-term rehab facilities are filled with nurses, physical therapists, and often doctors, they also have plenty of patient aids on staff that are there to simply help you perform all of your daily tasks during your stay without discomfort. Often called CNAs, STNAs, or PCAs, these staff members are trained in helping people recovering from knee replacements walk to and from the bathroom and around the facility grounds safely.
In addition, you won't have to worry about standing on your feet to prepare meals during your stay at a short-term rehab facility. All of your meals will be prepared by a professional cooking staff and served to you in your room or in a dining room.
Not having to worry about "the little things" like dishes and cleaning up during your stay in a rehab facility can help you focus solely on your recovery process without worries of falling or placing too much weight on your knee while attempting to walk before you are ready.
2. On-site Physical Therapists Prevent Worries of Missing Physical Therapy Appointments
As you may already know, the road to recovery after a knee replacement involves lots of physical therapy. However, after a knee replacement surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself to and from your physical therapy appointments. Most medical professionals advise that people who have knee replacement surgeries, whether their left or right knees are replaced, not operate motor vehicles until at least 6 weeks after surgery. In addition, if you are still experiencing pain after six weeks and taking potent opioid pain medications, you won't be able to drive until you no longer need the medication.
When you stay in a short-term rehab facility after your knee replacement, you won't have to worry about finding rides to and from physical therapy from friends and family who may have little time free in their busy schedules. Most short-term rehabs will have patient aids transport you to a physical therapy room from your personal room by wheelchair and then take you back right after your physical therapy is done. However, some rehab facilities also arrange for the physical therapists to come to you in your room and perform "mini sessions" between your longer physical therapy sessions that can greatly help speed up your recovery process.
Whether you are already recovering from a knee replacement surgery at home and realizing just how tough the recovery process is on your own or about to have a knee replacement and are deciding where you will stay while recovering, remember these two benefits of staying in a short-term rehab facility after a knee replacement surgery. Most surgeons advise all patients to recover in one of these facilities after a knee replacement due to how it eases the recovery process and can even speed it up greatly.