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In the recovery room you will gradually wake up, and you may feel groggy from the anesthesia. You may hear your nurse telling you surgery is over.
After joint replacement surgery, you may feel special pneumatic stockings on your legs to help prevent blood clots and increase blood circulation. The pumping motion will massage your legs. You’ll be asked to move your feet up and down. It is important to tell your nurse if you feel numbness, tingling or pain in your feet and legs. If you need pain medicine, ask for it. It’s easier to prevent and reduce pain sooner than to stop it later.
Once in your private room, the hip and knee replacement team will encourage you to get out of bed as early as possible, usually later in the day of surgery or the day after. They also will help you turn in bed and remind you to cough and do breathing exercises. Your therapist will teach you strength exercises for your hip or knee to help blood circulation and prevent pressure sores.
At first, you will walk with the help of a walker or crutches. You may have some temporary pain in the new joint, because your muscles are weak from not being used. Pain can be helped with monitored medication and should end in a few weeks. Physical therapy can begin the day after surgery to help strengthen the muscles around the new joint and help you regain motion in the joint.