Joint replacement can help relieve pain and enable you to live a fuller, more active life. If you and your orthopedic surgeon have decided that you are a good candidate for joint replacement, you are in good company: In 2011, almost 1 million hip and knee replacement surgeries were performed in the United States, making it one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed today.
Before joint replacement surgery, you will need time to prepare, both physically and psychologically. Planning ahead for the challenges of surgery and recovery will help ensure a more successful outcome. This article includes some practical tips to help you get ready for your joint replacement surgery.
Learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Your questions may include:
Do not hesitate to voice concerns or speak up if you do not understand something about your treatment. Hofmann Arthritis Institute – staff, doctors, and support staff can help guide you in your discussions. Call us at 801-355-6468.
Getting in the best physical shape possible before surgery can lessen the chance for complications and shorten your recovery time.
If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking affects blood circulation, delays healing and slows recovery. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet. If you drink, do not consume any alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery. If you use any other types of controlled substances, tell your doctor. Narcotics and other drugs can cause complications and impact your surgery.
If you are having a hip or knee replacement, strengthening your upper body will make it easier to use crutches or a walker after surgery. If you become familiar with the exercises now, you will be ready to perform them after surgery.
To help expedite the check in process for your appointment, we would ask that you please print and complete the following forms (where applicable – fill out only for the surgical procedures that you are scheduling) and bring them with you to your appointment. Please call our office at (801) 355-6468 if you have any questions or concerns, we’re happy to help. Thank you!
Download Pre-Surgery Forms and Documents
Joint replacement is major surgery and your recovery will take several weeks, but there are steps you can take now to make your time at home safer and more comfortable:
If you live alone or have special needs, consider going to a specialized rehabilitation facility after discharge from the hospital. Your doctor can suggest appropriate places to consider. Although you may not be able to make a reservation at the facility, you can tour it and meet the staff before your surgery. This familiarity will make you feel more comfortable when you arrive at the facility.
Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for several days after your surgery.
Place items that you use frequently within easy reach.
Borrow a walker or pair of crutches to see how well you can maneuver through your home. You may need to rearrange furniture or temporarily change rooms (make the living room your bedroom, for example).
Remove any throw or area rugs that could cause you to slip. Securely fasten electrical cords around the perimeter of the room.
Consider modifying your bathroom to include a shower chair, gripping bar, or raised toilet seat. Place items that you use frequently within easy reach so that you do not have to reach up or bend down.
If you do not already have a disabled parking permit, apply for a temporary permit several weeks before your surgery. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles, or your doctor’s office may have an application form.
Following your surgical procedure with Hofmann Arthritis Institute, our physician and staff will work closely with you on education and instructions pertaining to your new joint replacement. Here are some of the forms you will receive under our care and treatment.