Joint conditions can range from minor pain to seriously disabling, which can profoundly affect your lifestyle. If the damage or injury is severe and joint preservation cannot restore the existing knee to its normal function, a joint replacement can be the answer.
Since it takes several weeks for you to get better after joint replacement surgery, you may be wondering how you are supposed to travel after the procedure. As such, here is a guide for traveling via land or air after joint replacement surgery.
When Is it Safe to Travel After Joint Replacement Surgery?
It is highly recommended you wait a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery before traveling. However, this will also depend on a combination of factors, such as the type of joint replacement procedure you get done, the length of time you will be travelling, and the mode of transportation you will use. Moreover, your level of comfort also plays a vital role in determining whether you are ready to travel.
You can expect the location of the surgery to be painful, sensitive, and swollen for a few weeks after the operation, and this can be uncomfortable even when you are resting at home, let alone when you’re traveling. As such, assess your pain and mobility with your surgeon prior to making travel plans. Finally, even if you are doing well in your recovery, using a cane or crutches will most likely be necessary as you will not have recovered until after completing several weeks or months of physical therapy following your procedure.
How Can I Prepare for Traveling After Joint Replacement Surgery?
If you’re traveling via plane, getting from the terminal entrance to the gate will require much walking in most airports. If you use a cane or have pulmonary problems that may limit your walking ability, you should consider asking for wheelchair assistance. It can help you get to your destination without being too exhausted or in pain.
How can you further prepare to travel after your surgery?
Choose Your Seat
Whatever your mode of transportation is, pick a seat that has the most legroom for you to move and stretch comfortably.
If you’re on a plane, you may consider upgrading to first class. However, if it is not financially possible, you may opt for the row of seats behind the partition between the first class and economy as it usually has more space. If this is also not possible, get an aisle seat.
If you’re traveling by car, sitting at the back seat allows you more space to keep your legs elevated if you had a knee replacement surgery. It can also allow you to move your upper extremities with better ease if you had a shoulder joint replacement surgery.
Joint Replacement Surgery in Clinton Township, MI
With proper planning, it is possible to travel after joint replacement surgery. Always consult with your surgeon and physical therapist before traveling for guidance and recommendations specific to your recovery.
At Movement Orthopedics, Dr. Jeffrey Carroll offers outpatient joint replacement surgery. This allows you to recover in the comfort of your home immediately following surgery. With a minimally invasive procedure and the use of state-of-the-art joint replacement surgery tools, you can reduce the risk of post-operative hospital-acquired infections – and shorten your recovery period – by resting at home.
To inquire or schedule an appointment, call us today at (586) 436-3785, or you may request an appointment online.