Preventing Falls after Joint Surgery

Walking up the stairs

After having joint replacement surgery, a fall can have serious consequences such as dislocation or infection. Instead of risking more pain and injury, Advanced Surgical Hospital (ASH) will help you prevent falls with our Fall Prevention Program. Here are a few things we teach our patients in our program:

  • Wear supportive shoes with rubber soles after surgery. While slippers are warm and comfortable, they do not have as much traction and could cause you to slip and fall.
  • Follow our instructions and use your assistive walking device. When used properly, your walking device will provide the extra support you need to help avoid falls.
  • Identify potential fall hazards at your home. You don’t want to get all the way home and then have to come back to the hospital because of a fall. Make sure your home is ready for you. Here are a few red flags outside and inside your home (these hazards are also listed in the information packet you will receive at ASH’s welcome center when you come for your pre-anesthesia evaluation):
  1. Steps without railings or stairs that are too steep and narrow are more likely to cause problems for you. You can prevent falling on your stairs by installing a sturdy handrail or finding an alternate route.
  2. Lack of light outside and throughout your home can cause you to trip on unseen objects. Make sure you have night lights to improve your vision in the dark.
  3. Slippery floors inside and uneven or cracked pavement outside are also likely to cause you problems as you try to maneuver around your home after surgery. Wear supportive shoes with rubber soles to prevent slips and falls.
  4. Excessive clutter, stray electrical cords, throw rugs, and anything else that could be a tripping hazard should be removed from your walkways.
  5. Unstable furniture that can easily break or tip over is another fall hazard that should be avoided.
  • Before surgery, move items you use frequently to lower shelves and cabinets so you don’t strain yourself trying to reach for them.
  • Lastly, listen to your doctors, nurses, and your therapists. We have helped hundreds of people just like you get back on their feet. Since opening in April 2010, we are rated in the 99th percentile for patient satisfaction!

In addition to helping you avoid a serious fall, our pre-op classes will provide all of the information you and your caregiver need to ensure your safety and quick recovery after joint surgery. You can also contact us with any questions!