Monthly Archives: August 2015

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How to Help Your Loved Ones Pre and Post Joint Replacement Surgery

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Patients undergoing joint replacement surgery can use all the help they can get–even if they don’t always know how to ask for it. Major surgery presents more than physical challenges, and it’s profoundly helpful for patients to have support in all forms.Whether you are the spouse, child, friend, sibling, or other family member of a joint replacement patient, there are ways you can help.

Educate Yourself

A little homework can go a long way. Joint replacement surgery means confronting a lot of potentially scary experiences, such as anesthesia, the operation, and the medications many patients take after surgery. The more mysterious these things are, the more frightening. The more you can discuss them, understand them, and prepare for them, the more comfortable patients can feel with the procedure. Walk through the steps of preparation and recovery with the patient regularly to make them clearer and more familiar.

Meet The Doctor(s)

Ask if you can tag along on a visit to the doctor. The physicians, surgeons, and physical therapists that your loved one will be seeing are a great resource for tips on how you can help provide the best care. Plus, it can be overwhelming as a patient to take in all the info and guidelines discussed each visit. You can help by taking notes, and by asking questions. As an outsider, you may have a clearer perspective on the conversation–patients can feel distracted by anxiety, pain, or, post-surgery, even medication. You may even want to brainstorm some questions with your loved one beforehand, so that you can make sure they are all answered.


This may sound obvious, but transportation is a big deal to someone going into or recovering from surgery. Even if a patient is technically okay to drive, they may feel uncomfortable doing so, and may be reluctant to ask for a ride to avoid feeling as if they are a burden. If your availability as a driver is limited, help look for a solution. Organize a rideshare group with other family members or friends who want to pitch in. Or, look for a reliable car service or app like Uber or Lyft, and try using it together to help get your loved one comfortable with this alternative.

Be a Rehabilitation Cheerleader

Recovery from joint replacement surgery can be slow, and even painful. It can be easy to feel like things will never get better, or even that they’re worse than before. Keep your loved one motivated by tracking and celebrating their progress–even the small stuff. Assure them that recovery takes time (though if it seems to be taking too long, definitely call the doctor). Recognize the hard work they’re putting in, and let them know that you’re proud of them.

Take Care of Yourself

At the end of the day, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get sleep, eat well, exercise. Your loved one made the very difficult decision to undergo joint replacement–very likely in part because they want to be more mobile, and better able to be part of your life. The best way you can honor and respect their courage and strength is to not take your health for granted.

If you or someone you love is considering joint replacement surgery, we encourage you to request an appointment with our joint specialists to learn more about your options.

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Four Ways to Make Fitness a Joint Effort

Extra pounds mean lots of extra stress on your joints. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle won’t do them any favors, either. Science says that one of the most effective ways to stick to and achieve success in a weight loss or fitness program is via social support–i.e., not going it alone. Try these tips to create a team, even if it’s only of two.


For The Gambling Man (Or Woman)

DietBet is a nifty site that lets you buy into a bet–for example, that you can lose 10% of your body weight in six months. Those who successfully meet their goal split the pot at the end of the bet. You can set up your own pools and goals, or join one of the many pre-existing pools.

Wearable Tech

Fitness bands are an awesome way to measure daily activity. Because many focus on steps, their isn’t so much pressure to force yourself into intense workouts that are harder on the joints. Many offer additional features, like heart rate monitors and tech to help record how well you sleep. Most, like Jawbone’s UP, have an application that also allows you to add teammates so that you can encourage each other throughout the day. You can customize your privacy settings, so if you don’t want to share certain info–like sleep patterns or meals–you don’t need to. Plus, there’s just something fun about having a piece of wearable tech–like a friendship bracelet.

Take it To Twitter (And Instagram, and Facebook…)

Research suggests that those who share their efforts to get healthy on social media are more successful. Social media allows you to connect and garner the support of friends and family all over the country or even the world. Who knows who you’ll inspire to join you?

Check in with Doc

First off, always check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise or diet plan. They can help you find activities that are a good fit for your ability levels and generally make sure you won’t inadvertently harm yourself. Second, they may be able to recommend a local clinical weight loss group, or to fitness classes that are well suited to your goals.

If you’re all set to get social and get started, but are worried about lack of function or pain in your joints, contact our office to request an appointment.

Limited mobility and chronic pain from damaged joints is a tragedy that affects more than just one person — it robs families, loved ones, and communities of so much you have to offer. The specialists at the Advanced Joint Replacement Institute want to help you get back on your feet and out in the world. Our team has the experience, skills, and technology to replace joints using minimally invasive techniques for a faster recovery time, less pain, and less scarring.