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Preparation Guide: Ambulatory Assistive Devices

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As a surgical patient, using a wheelchair, crutches, walker, or other similar ambulatory devices may be necessary after your surgery. The following tips are for you to consider before surgery to help you adjust to your new equipment:

  • Find out what type of assistive device you will be using after your surgery and visit your medical supply provider or your doctor’s office to practice using this equipment.
  • Work on your upper body strength. This will make crutch- and wheelchair handling much more manageable.
  • Apply for a temporary Handicap Parking permit. Address this with your doctor several weeks before your surgery—he or she will need to assist you in obtaining a permit.
  • Set up a temporary bedroom for yourself if your bedroom is not on the main floor. Suppose there are items you may need from another level of the house, be sure to collect them before surgery and have them at a close distance. Keep in mind that this room should be a low-traffic area of the house because you will need plenty of rest.

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