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Recovery & Rehabilitation

Everyone is different and your recovery and rehabilitation will depend on how your body reacts to the procedure.  Your care team is dedicated to getting you up and moving on the day of surgery and then, through exercise and hard work, getting you back to a full recovery within 10 to 12 weeks.

To help you best anticipate what might happen, here is a general postoperative recovery schedule, followed by a sample Physical Therapy schedule.


Your recovery begins in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) where you will be monitored closely during the immediate postoperative period. After a typical recovery period of one – three hours, you will then arrive at the Center where you will be cared for the remainder of your stay.

General Recovery

You may be able to sit in a chair or walk with a rolling walker almost immediately after your procedure as early mobility will help you in your rapid recovery. 

The next day, you will dress in your own clothes and be ready for a visit by your Surgeon and Physician Assistant. You will then be seen by a physical and/or occupational therapist who will get you moving, performing functional mobility and activities of daily living. You will walk down the hallway with a rolling walker or crutches and you may even climb stairs. Plan to attend at least one group exercise session that first day.

Your second day in the Center will include two group exercise sessions, hallway walks and stair climbing. You will have a discharge preparation class and you may be ready for discharge by early afternoon. If you are still at the Center, your evening will be free for visitors.

Your third day is your expected discharge day and you will repeat the same exercise regime as day two with a goal to have you discharged by early afternoon.

Post Discharge Recovery

Prior to discharge, you will receive all your instructions regarding medications, precautions, activity guidelines, physical therapy, etc. and you will also be provided with crutches or walkers. The case manager will arrange for any home care including nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy services as necessary.

If you go to a rehabilitation facility, you will be transferred there via ambulance and their medical staff will assume your care, in consultation with your Surgeon.

After discharge from the Center, you will still have the support of your Care Team, however, your Coach and family members as well as your home and outpatient therapists become your most important resources. 

You play the most important role in your recovery – you should utilize the suggested goals as described in the Guidebook at one, two, four, six, and 12 weeks as a guideline but your personalized recovery program will be overseen by the caregivers/therapists providing your post acute care. From discharge through tentative first steps to gradual and then full independence, your ultimate goal is to return to full activity in under three months.

Be sure to consult with your Physician and Physical Therapist as often as necessary to be closely guided and monitored throughout the recovery process.

And finally, you should plan on following up with your Surgeon or other Care Team members as necessary, but no less than once a year. These visits will enable your team to check on your progress and address any problems that might arise.

Contact Us

For more information about the Longfellow Center for Joint Replacement contact our Orthopedic Care Coordinator, Deborah Levenson, at 617-499-5882.

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