Tips for Patients Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Be prepared for joint replacement surgery by having all of your ducks in a row.

Joint replacement surgeries, like knee replacements, are aimed at increasing mobility and decreasing pain. These types of procedures are becoming more common. You can make your transition to an artificial joint easy by following these recommendations to get ready for surgery.

Ask questions
Pre-operation appointments are a perfect time to ask your doctor questions. Your questions could include:

  • What to expect from surgery
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • What type of replacement implant will be used?
  • How long will the hospital stay be?
  • How will pain be managed?

Prepare your body
Your doctor may give a regimen of steps to take to prepare for surgery:

  • If you smoke, quit or cut down because smoking can hinder the healing process.
  • Stop drinking alcohol before surgery.
  • Losing weight can help speed the recovery process.

Get your personal affairs in order
Because you will have a period of recuperation after surgery, it is a good idea to get your personal affairs in order prior to the procedure.

Consider:

  • Paying your bills in advance.
  • Making adjustments to your home to allow for easy accessibility because you may be on crutches or a walker.
  • Designating a family member or close friend to be a contact person for medical information. If your are under the influence of pain medication, you will probably want someone to talk to the doctors and retain the important information.
  • Making arrangements at your workplace for time off and for accessibility considerations when you do return.

Meet your after-care helpers
Make an appointment to meet and get to know the physical therapists that will help you post surgery. This is a good time to ask about your physical therapy treatment plan and what to expect in terms of regaining mobility.

If your doctor believes a joint replacement is a good option for you, the Orthopaedic Institute at Oak Hill Hospital offers state-of-the-art medical care and surgical techniques. For a physician referral or to have your health questions answered, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.

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