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Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Leaders in Orthopaedic Surgery

Preparing for joint replacement surgery can be an overwhelming process for patients, but the better the preparation, the faster the recovery.

It is essential to assign a coach to support you before and after your surgery. It can be either a family member or a friend.  The chosen coach will help by:

  • Going with you to the hospital for pre-surgery appointments, as well as on the day of surgery
  • Taking you home after surgery
  • Assist you through post-surgery appointments
  • Helping around the house, with getting dressed, preparing meals, and moving around

Planning ahead of surgery will lower stress and help focus your attention on your recovery, so it is vital to understand what you can do in advance.

8 to 10 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Call your primary care doctor and make an appointment for your pre-op medical exam
  • Inform your cardiologist about the joint surgery if you have any heart conditions
  • Finalize any necessary dental work
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco
  • Try eating only healthy foods and exercising as indicated by your surgeon or physical therapist

4 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Complete your pre-op medical clearance and talk to your joint surgery ambulatory care manager
  • Prepare your home for recovery and adjustments with your coach and ensure the care of your pets, children, or elderly people
  • Create a HealthLoop account to keep in touch and receive reminders from your care team

2 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Pre-register for surgery and submit the filled out advanced healthcare order
  • Make sure to place within reach all indispensable items
  • Get CHG soap from your surgeon's office or pharmacy
  • Make sure your chosen coach is available to take you home afterward and help with household supplies and domestic work
  • Consult your ambulatory care manager if you need help or answers

The Day Before Surgery

  • Stop drinking or eating anything after midnight, or your surgery will be canceled
  • Avoid alcohol the day or night before surgery 
  • Make sure to pick up any new prescriptions from the pharmacy
  • Pack your hospital bag and shower with CHG soap the night before and morning of the surgery
  • Relax and rest properly

The Day of Surgery

  • It is necessary to check-in at the hospital in advance to meet your care team and prepare for surgery. A member of our medical team will get you to a pre-operative waiting room before moving into the operating room. We will give you an ID wristband, helping us keep you safe
  • After you change into a hospital gown, we will give the bag with your belongings to your family members or you when going to the recovery room
  • A nurse will check the accuracy of your medical record and assess your vital signs before performing a short physical exam or any extra necessary tests
  • An intravenous tube (IV) will be placed in a vein in your arm or hand for fluids and medications
  • Your surgeon will make sure that everybody agrees about the type of surgery you are having and mark the surgery site in pen
  • Your coach, family members, or friends can stay by your side before going to the operating room. They will have to stay in the waiting area while you have your surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

You should be able to stop using your walking frame or crutches and get back to your normal leisure activities within six weeks after the surgery. However, it can take up to three months for the pain to settle down and up to a year for a complete recovery.

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For 80–90% of people who have an artificial joint replacement, the new one typically lasts 20 years. The more demanding your lifestyle is, the faster it will wear out.

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Joint replacement is a surgical procedure during which a damaged or arthritic joint is replaced with an orthopedic prosthesis. It may be recommended as a treatment option if you suffer from severe joint pain.

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The postoperative pain is temporary and resolves within a few days. Recovery after a total joint replacement varies and is different for each individual.

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After hip surgery, your doctor will give you precise indications regarding your aftercare and all the precautions you should take once you are discharged.

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