The Total Joint Center
If you would like additional information about the Total Joint Center or
wish to make an appointment, please call 401-793-5852.
Total Joint Center Physicians
Physical therapy (PT) is an important part of your recovery after surgery that helps you regain normal mobility after your joint replacement surgery.
Day of Surgery: Your doctor will order PT after surgery. Usually, the physical therapist will see you to complete an evaluation the day of surgery. She or he will review any movement restrictions, discuss a home exercise program, bed mobility, transfers, and gait training.
During Your Hospital Stay: After your surgery, a physical therapist will see you daily to help you progress. You will be out of bed most of the day and walking with your nursing staff as well.
Discharge Planning: Included in the back pocket of this guide are instructions for your home exercise program. Your physical therapist will review safe techniques and any movement restrictions with you before you go home. She or he will also make recommendations regarding discharge.
The physical therapist will teach you how to go from lying down to sitting to standing up. She or he will also teach you how to walk with the walker and, if you are able, will transition you to crutches before you are discharged. She or he will do stair training with you if you will need to be able to climb stairs when you are discharged. She or he will talk with you about bed and chair exercises you need to do to recover from surgery. Finally, the physical therapist will talk with you about any movement precautions you may need to maintain after your surgery.
Safely getting into and out of a car will be discussed during your physical therapy. Your surgeon will determine when you will be able to safely drive again. You may qualify for a temporary handicap parking permit.
What is Occupational Therapy?
In its simplest terms, occupational therapists help people with the activities that they need and want to engage in. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
a personal evaluation during which you and the occupational therapist determine your needs and goals
customized interventions to improve your ability to perform daily activities and reach those goals
an evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or to make changes to the intervention plan
Occupational therapy services may include evaluations of your home, suggestions for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and education for family members and caregivers.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting your environment to fit you, and you are an integral part of the therapy team.
Occupational Therapy after a Total Joint Replacement
After your total joint replacement you may work with an occupational therapist who will assess your abilities to complete self-care tasks and your functional mobility so that you may return home safely and as independently as possible. The occupational therapist will discuss adaptive equipment options such as long-handled dressing aids to maximize your independence. The occupational therapist may discuss adaptive equipment for your home to accommodate movement restrictions you will need to maintain after your joint replacement surgery. Part of your occupational therapy treatment may also include establishing an upper body exercise routine. As you heal from your total joint replacement surgery, you may rely on an assistive device for mobility using your arms for support, so upper body strength training may be needed to improve your endurance, making mobility easier.
After discharge from the hospital, you may receive occupational therapy at home through a visiting nurses service to continue to help you learn how to complete activities of daily living and best adapt your home for a safe recovery. If your discharge plan changes and short-term rehabilitation is needed, occupational therapy will resume there.
Emergency Contacts Worksheet
Please consider hanging a sign with emergency numbers and contacts in your home in an easy-to-view location. This will be very helpful to friends, family and home care staff who may visit you after your surgery, in case assistance is needed quickly.
Adaptive Equipment Needs
Following your total joint replacement, you may have difficulty performing personal care tasks. After total joint replacements there are specific movement limitations that must be maintained. These precautions can make it challenging to complete basic self-care tasks. Most people find it helpful to use some pieces of adaptive equipment to perform these self-care tasks while they are recovering from a total joint replacement. The most commonly used items are: a reacher, a sock aid, a long shoehorn, a long-handled sponge, elastic shoe laces, a raised toilet seat and a tub bench. Your occupational therapist will teach you how to use this equipment to maintain your independence while you recover.
Most adaptive equipment for self care is not covered by insurance companies. Please call your health care insurance provider for the details of your plan. A more inclusive list of assistive devices can be found in the front pocket of this guide. After your surgery the occupational therapist can help you identify your needs and guide you to obtain the proper adaptive equipment.