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User's Manual: Joints

13 Must-Know Facts About Joint Replacements

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Credit: Getty Images

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Physical therapy is key

Moving around is critical not just in the days after surgery, but in the weeks and months after, too. The more you move, the better your long-term outcome.

After leaving the hospital, you'll probably see a physical therapist a couple of times a week for the first six weeks, but the key is to practice the exercises twice a day on your own, says Dr. Kates.

Whatever they are, be sure to do them. "One of the most frustrating things is if you have successfully done surgery and then the patient doesn't do the rehab afterwards," says Dr. Kates.

Next: You can replace knuckles

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