Question:My mother is going to have a total hip replacement. She isn't getting around very well now. My siblings and I will take turns caring for her after the operation. Is there any way to tell how much help she'll need?
There is a new tool that may be of help to you. It's called the Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool or RAPT. It's used by doctors and physical therapists before the patient has the surgery. It shows whether the patient is at low, medium, or high risk for extended care after a hip or knee joint replacement.
Low risk means the patient can go directly home. Medium risk is more of the gray zone. The patient may need some extra time in the hospital and/or some extra sessions with the physical therapist. High risk means the patient is likely to need extra inpatient rehab before going home.
Of course there are times when patients who go directly home still need some extra help. Managing meals, icy sidewalks in the winter, or taking care of other family members may change the picture. Still, the use of RAPT has resulted in more patients going directly home after hip or knee joint replacement.
Ask the doctor or physical therapist to score your mother with this tool. The results may be very helpful.Leonie B. Oldmeadow, MClinEduc, et al. Targeted Postoperative Care Improves Discharge Outcome after Hip or Knee Arthroplasty. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. September 2004. Vol. 85. No. 10. Pp. 1424-1427.
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