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Life in Motion

Preparing for your Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Health

NEBH believes that educated patients participating in their own care will improve outcomes. One way to get involved in your care is to ensure that you are fully prepared for your joint replacement surgery. There are many things people think about before going into surgery, such as making sure they have a ride home and taking time off from work, but there a number of things people often do not consider. Occupational therapists at NEBH offer the following advice on ways you can get ready for your joint replacement surgery.

Preparing Your Home

Living Room

  • Clear cluttered pathways and remove scatter rugs to reduce fall hazards.
  • Set up a firm chair with arms. Couches and recliners are not recommended as they are difficult to get in and out of.
  • Have a cordless phone available so you do not feel rushed if you hear the phone ring, or forward your home phone to your cell phone.
  • Ensure any stairs you will be using have rails to hold on to.


  • Prepare and freeze meals ahead of time.  If you live alone, plan for grocery delivery.
  • Put food and drinks in a travel mug or water bottle. Use a carpenter’s apron with big pockets and  bags for ease of carrying while using crutches or walker.
  • Put frequently used items at counter height.
  • A reacher may also come in handy. It can be attached to your crutches or walker with velcro


  • Install grab bars near the toilet and shower. Do not use towel racks-they will not hold your weight.
  • Place a rubber mat in the shower/tub to reduce your risk of slipping.
  • Obtain or borrow a raised toilet seat with arms (if you are taller than 5’2”) or commode and shower bench or chair.
  • Install a hand held shower nozzle to simplify showering.


  • Wear sturdy flat shoes with a back and good grip on the bottom like sneakers or slip-ons that are snug on your feet. Remember, your feet may be swollen after surgery. Do not wear flip flops.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing like sweats, gym, or yoga pants.
  • Obtain devices from family or friends who may have a long handled shoe horn,  device to don socks, reacher etc. If you do not have devices, arrangements can be made to obtain devices to fit your specific needs while you are in the hospital.


  • When you first return home after surgery, caring for a pet may be difficult. Make sure to arrange for someone to walk and feed your pet.

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