Joint Replacement Recovery | Torrance Memorial | South Bay

Joint Replacement Recovery

We know you can’t wait to get back to your activities after joint replacement at Torrance Memorial Lundquist Orthopedic Institute. Read on to learn how to ensure a smooth, safe return to the life you love.

Preparing to Go Home

We’ll work with you to plan a safe hospital departure the same day as surgery or the day after. You’ll likely return home to recover where you feel most comfortable. But if you need to spend a short time in a rehabilitation facility first, we’ll recommend a high-quality care center and help you transition to it seamlessly.

Discharge Instructions

Before leaving the hospital, you’ll get printed instructions explaining what you should and shouldn’t do while recovering. Ask your care team if you have any questions. We want to make sure you fully understand how to keep yourself safe and well in the weeks after surgery.

Follow-Up Visit with Your Surgeon

You’ll schedule a follow-up appointment for your surgeon to check your incision and remove your surgical staples. Keep this appointment to support a timely healing process.

Driving Restrictions

Ask a loved one to drive you home after surgery. You’ll need to rely on family, friends, or local transportation services [PDF] to get to your appointments for several weeks. Your surgeon will tell you when it’s safe to drive again.

Physical Therapy

Within a few days of leaving the hospital, you’ll start physical therapy. Rehabilitation helps you regain joint flexibility, build strength, and prevent blood clots and scar tissue. Most likely, you’ll get this care on an outpatient basis, meaning you visit a rehabilitation location for appointments and then return home. But if your surgeon orders in-home rehabilitation at first, a physical therapist will come to you. No matter where your care takes place, follow your plan closely to improve your long-term outcome.

How Soon Will I Heal?

In-Home Support

Several agencies in the Torrance area offer private duty services - help with chores, errands and self-care. For a list of providers, call our HealthLinks Resource Center.


Full recovery depends on your procedure and overall health, but it usually lasts three to six months. Take care of yourself by balancing rest and activity. Don’t push your body to pain or exhaustion, and ask for help often. By staying within the limits your therapist and surgeon tell you, you’ll give your joint plenty of time to heal.

Home Safety

To make your home a safe place to recover:

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom and put non-slip strips in the shower (or use a shower chair)
  • Install handrails in stairways
  • Sleep on the main floor of your home or a loved one’s home
  • Remove rugs, electrical cords, and other trip hazards, as well as clutter that could easily be knocked over
  • Arrange furniture so there’s room for your walker to get through
  • Store food, dishes, clothing, and other items at waist level so you don’t have to reach up or bend down to get them
  • Put nightlights throughout your home so you don’t stumble in the dark
  • Keep your cellphone on you or consider using a Lifeline medical alert system if you live alone

To see where you can buy or rent safety and mobility equipment, talk to your case manager or review our list of local medical supply stores [PDF].

Presurgical Session Signup

After you meet with an orthopedic surgeon about joint replacement, call our Health Education department to sign up for your presurgical information session.


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