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.