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Home Is Where the Healing Happens

Home Is Where the Healing Happens

Dorothy spends her entireThe Wizard of Oz journey searching for a way home to Kansas, only to find the solution was as simple as clicking her ruby heels and repeating: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

Well, according to new research, Dorothy’s mantra may also apply to people recovering from hip or knee replacement. Three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine show that, for most people, home is a better place to recover than a rehab facility.

One investigation by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine found people who went directly home after total knee replacement (TKR) had a lower risk of post-surgery complications and hospital readmission than those who went to an inpatient rehab facility.

Another, done by New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, showed that patients admitted to a care facility after hip replacement had a higher risk of wound complications, respiratory problems and hospital readmission. 

Worried about recovering at home if you live alone? Yet another study found patients recovered as quickly, and with as few complications, whether they lived with others or not. Our Tip: Post TKR, have a visiting nurse, friends, even paid attendants for a few days to help you get in and out of bed, work with your auto knee-bending machine and manage pain medications.

So, before you get a hip or knee replacement, talk to your doc about how to best head home post-op.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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