Preparing Your Home After Knee Surgery

acl knee surgery brace Preparing Your Home After Knee Surgery

I tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my right knee 18 years ago playing football and had surgery at the University of Arizona. I was living at my parents house at the time and I got what I needed in terms of medical, physical and moral support. Our home was one-story and for the week I was on crutches I didn’t need to do much except attend physical therapy.

Four years ago I tore the ACL in my left knee playing in a pickup lacrosse game in Hawaii. I returned home to New York and tests were inconclusive so my doctor scheduled surgery to scope it out and he would reconstruct the ACL if necessary. Well I woke up to his words “Your ACL was shredded so I had to fix it”.

Living in New York is not the most ideal place to deal with a leg injury. After leaving the hospital I had to scoot into a cab then navigate the stoop up to our front door and then the flight of stairs to our apartment. I didn’t think much of those steps when I had two good legs to walk on but as many can attest too, stairs on crutches isn’t fun.

Laura took great care of me but we also had some family help arrive that week. Here are my observations about returning home after knee surgery and tips to make the transition easier for everyone including yourself.

1. Accept help
I’m very independent and don’t ask for much but in a situation like this its better to be open and receptive to friends and family assisting you. Don’t abuse your situation but when you are comfortable everyone else is too.

2. Clear the room
Make sure you remove any unnecessary clutter around the house. Pick up the boxes and anything else that might hinder you getting around on crutches. Remember you take up a wider space with crutches.

3. Watch out for rugs
Rugs can slide especially when the single point of a crutch is pushed on it. Consider removing rugs while you are on crutches. The last thing you need is a rug slipping and you falling and reinjuring yourself.

4. Easy access to meds
Keep your medication, wraps any other supplies close at hand. You don’t want to reach or fumble for these things.

5. Stock up on food
Make sure you’ve got all your comfort foods close by and plenty of liquids. Keep water near the couch or wherever you will be recovering as its important to stay hydrated.

What other tips do you have for making your home as comfy after returning home from surgery?

note: above photo is not my knee.

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timothy dahl profile Preparing Your Home After Knee Surgery

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
timothy dahl profile Preparing Your Home After Knee Surgery

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    Granite is nice but can be rather a pain to install yourself.

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    For better or worse, so much of kitchen design decisions are driven by how they might affect resale value and the kitchen’s appeal to future potential owners. Granite and stainless steel have undergone a “mainstreaming” effect; once they’re even slightly more popular than other options, they pop up everywhere because they’re a safe choice.

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      Thanks RebeccaZ and Susan for chiming in here. I’ve also heard great things about wood countertops. I think my favorite right now is concrete when it’s done right which may resemble the unfading slate you mentioned. I’ll have to check that out!

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    Amen Brother!

    I would love more attention paid to the recycled glass products (e.g., http://www.vetrazzo.com/products_palette.html) or polished concrete, both of which look great and different…

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