Where should you go after knee replacement surgery, home or to a skilled nursing facility? My choice is home hands down and here is why…
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
Even the best-managed and highest-ranking facilities have vulnerabilities in this area. Let’s face it, there are many immune-compromised individuals being housed together and there is a lot of foot traffic in and out from visitors as well as health care professionals.
These places are a ripe environment for things like the common cold, flu and pneumonia. Even worse you could be coming in contact with clostridium difficile, various staph infections as well as the grand pappy to be avoided MRSA. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a gram-positive bacterium that is genetically different than other strains of Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
Of course in an ideal world staff would always wash their hands and never come to work sick. They would never improperly change the bandage on your wound and you would never have to eat lunch next to a person who is sick or lay on a non-disinfected treatment table, but of course this is not a perfect world. Get my drift. Go home to your own limited bug set
Control, Control, Control
Do you like to stay up late and sleep in? Think it would be a good idea to eat the food that works best for your system after knee replacement surgery? Do you prefer to sleep in your own bed at night? Want to get up in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep and do some exercises? All this and more is possible at home after after knee replacement surgery.
Progress, Progress, Progress
Get ahead and stay ahead of the “Slackers” that go to rehab. Ok I am just kidding here, but seriously I know you can get better faster at home. You are not likely to be waited on and that is a good thing. It means you will get up and move more frequently. You can avoid the big time waste of 2 hours a day of OT! Sorry my OT friends and colleagues, but knee replacement patients need to get cracking on the main event- the knee replacement rehab.
But What if…
You might be single, divorced, retired and widowed but do not let that deter you. The first 24-48 hours at home are the hardest when you are transitioning from the hospital meds to oral narcotic pain pills. That would be a good time to have someone around for general support and encouragement. But after that you should be able to reheat meals, get your own ice bag and carry on with your knee replacement rehab program at home.