It may come as a surprise to you that total joint replacement patients are encouraged to get up and start moving around as soon as possible after surgery — as early as the day of surgery. When you are medically stable, the physical therapist will recommend certain exercises for the affected joint. Physical therapy is a key part of recovery. To ease the discomfort the activity will initially cause, pain medication is recommended prior to therapy. In addition, the physical therapist will discuss plans for rehabilitation following hospital discharge.