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Entering and Exiting a Car after Knee Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common, not only among the elderly but with younger people too. The causes range from medical conditions like osteoarthritis to injuries. Among all joint replacements, those of the knee are the ones most frequently performed. Prior to the surgery patients suffer from pain and limited mobility. Once the replacement has been done, and the recovery completed, they can expect to resume a normal life free from pain and with full mobility. A common mistake that many people make which could cause injury is doing things the wrong way during the recovery time. Getting in and out of a car in an incorrect manner is one of them.

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Traveling by Road Is Fine, But…..


After years of pain and movement limitations, patients are eager to live their lives in comfort. Being able to travel without hinderance is something most look forward to. But car journeys can be a problem. It is not the trip itself that is an issue; it is getting in and out of the vehicle without stressing the knee which is still recovering from the surgery. If too much stress is applied the new joint could be damaged. On the other hand, the frustration of being cooped up at home can be depressing and have a negative impact on the pace of the recovery. Here are guidelines on the proper way to enter and exit a car after knee replacement. If your doctor has given you different advice, follow that as your case may require special consideration.
  •      Sit in the front passenger seat.
  •      Ensure that the seat is fully pushed back.
  •      Have the driver park the car on a hard flat surface so you can get to it easily.
  •      Move towards the car using your wheelchair or support device.
  •      When you are near to the car, turn and begin backing up towards the seat.
  •      If you are in a wheel chair stand up and have the wheelchair pulled away.
  •      Use your right hand to hold the door frame and place the left hand on the dashboard or the car seat.
  •      Using your arms to support you, gently lower yourself on to the seat.
  •      Slide into the seat.
  •       If the seat fabric is sticky, placing a plastic sheet on it can make sliding in easier.
  •      Swing one leg at a time into the car, using your arms to lift the leg if needed.
  •      Never cross your legs while in the car.
     That’s it – you are safely in the vehicle. Reverse this process to exit the car.

    The Safest Way to Travel

While traveling by car is fine if the doctor approves, the safest way to travel by road when you are in the wheelchair or crutches stages of the recovery is in special vehicles designed to carry those with your condition. These are known as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Vehicles and have ramps and other design features that make entry, exit and travel in them comfortable and safe. If you have had a joint replacement or other surgical procedure done and are tired of sitting at home while recovering, contact an NEMT company that serves your area and become mobile again.

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