Joint Camp FAQs

The information below is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. Every person is different, so please contact a physician to help you make the appropriate health care decision.

What should I wear at Joint Camp?

Joint Camp patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing such as sweat pants (hip patients), short pants (hip & knee patients), comfortable shirts. Shoes should have an enclosed toe and heel such as tennis shoes since you will be walking the halls and exercising. Patients who spend all of their time in bed after surgery do not recover as quickly and experience more complications than patients who move around more.

How much exercise should I do and how can I tell if I have done too much?

Mild or moderate exercise is beneficial. Continue your total joint replacement exercises at least three times each day.

When can I drive?

Driving is an individual matter. Some people regain their coordination and reflexes quickly while others take several weeks. Your physician will let you know when it safe to drive. You should not drive if you are taking pain medication.

Should I put lotion on my incision?

No, not until the staples have been removed.

When can I go up and down stairs?

It is important that you tell the nursing staff and physical therapists about any stairs you have outside and/or inside your home. The Joint Camp physical therapist will train you on how to properly go up/down stairs after surgery so that you may get around in your home without problems.

What kind of shoes should I wear after surgery?

High heels should not be worn the first three months after surgery. A well-fitting, flat, closed toe and heel, lace up shoe is safest. A good example would be tennis shoes. Socks with non-skid gripper bottoms keep your feet warm and prevent slipping. These are provided at Joint Camp.

When can I increase my activities?

It varies from patient to patient. Your physician will let you know when you can increase your activity level. Follow your physician’s instructions. To give you an idea of the time frames, some examples are:
  • Drive: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Slow dance: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Play golf: 10 to 12 weeks

How long will my exercise therapy last?

You can expect your rehab exercises to last 4 – 6 weeks depending on your individual needs. Your physician will check your condition closely and give you additional instructions.

What equipment will I need to obtain for use in my home after surgery?

A walker will be provided by the social worker if you do not already have one. Items such as a transfer tub bench/chair can be used to help you bathe safely in a shower/tub combination, but is optional. A shower cannot be taken for two weeks after surgery. If you have a shower stall, a shower stool can be used for support. A showerhead on a flexible hose is convenient but optional. An elevated toilet seat such as a portable potty chair is optional for knee replacement patients but is necessary for hip replacement patients. Grab bars are optional. Some patients who have had both knees replaced at the same time may want to consider an elevated toilet seat, but this is also optional.

Importance of antibiotics after surgery

A major concern of joint replacement surgeons is infection. Even years after surgery, it can be a potential problem. Infections occurring after six months are considered to be related to an infection occurring elsewhere in the body. Urinary tract infections are the primary cause for these delayed infections. Other possible causes include dental procedures, skin infection and respiratory infections.

Infections should always be treated aggressively. Preventive antibiotics have been known to be effective in decreasing the occurrence of infection after dental procedures, kidney or bladder examinations. The American Heart Association has established guidelines for preventive treatment.

Remember, let your family physician and dentist know that you have had a joint replacement.