• Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

  • If you and your orthopedic physician have decided you should have joint replacement, don't wait until the day of your surgery to start preparing. Your chances of a smooth recovery will improve if you're willing to put in some prep work before the procedure.

    Make Arrangements

    There are some key arrangements you should make before you’re admitted for surgery:

    • Prepare your home—see below for a full list of tips.
    • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital and a caretaker for your first few days home.
    • Obtain the front-wheeled walker or crutches you’ll need to leave the hospital after a hip or knee replacement.
    • If you want to get a temporary Disability Parking Privilege Permit, you can obtain one by downloading the form, printing it out, and getting it signed by your surgeon before surgery so you can turn it in to the Department of Motor Vehicles. 
    • Call the Castle Rock Adventist Center for Rehabilitation to schedule physical therapy appointments for after surgery. Session appointments fill up quickly. Your physician will tell you how soon you should start. Call (720) 455-3700 to schedule.
    • other tips to come from source

    Prepare at Home

    Your recovery will be easier and less stressful if you prepare your home before you head to the hospital.

    • If you plan to recover at home instead of at a rehabilitation facility, you’ll need a full-time caregiver for several days after your discharge from the hospital to help with meals and errands and generally assist you. If you don’t have a caregiver, let us know before your surgery so we can help you make arrangements.
    • Make sure you’ll be returning to a safe environment since you’ll be using an assistive devise for walking for a while. Remove throw rugs, clear walkways of clutter, and make sure your pets are contained in a place where they are kept from jumping on you or tripping you.
    • Stock your medicine cabinet and your kitchen before you leave. You’ll be given stool softeners while in the hospital to counteract the constipating effect of narcotic pain medications. If you’re prone to constipation, you may want to begin taking stool softeners at home prior to surgery and continue using them until you are no longer taking narcotic pain medications. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you have healthy, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks at the ready.

    Pack for Your Hospital Stay

    In addition to the Joint Replacement Guidebook you received, bring along the following:

    • Walker or crutches
    • Toiletries
    • Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, including sleepwear
    • Socks and underwear
    • Flat shoes with non-skid soles 
      Please leave your money, jewelry, and other valuables at home.

    Get Ready for Your Procedure

    Your physician will give you specific instructions to prep for your surgery, but here are a few things to expect.

    1. A week before surgery: Stop taking blood thinners including aspirin, ibuprofen, and all supplements at least seven days prior to surgery. If you regularly take a blood thinner such as Coumadin or Plavix, talk with the prescribing doctor and ask when you should stop taking this medication.
    2. Two nights before surgery: In order to reduce the risk of surgical site infection, it is recommended that you shower before your surgery with a special antibacterial soap.  You will be given a bottle of the special soap and special instructions on how to use it.
    3. The day before surgery: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids up until midnight.  Beginning at midnight, do not smoke, eat, or drink anything, including gum, mints, or ice chips.
    4. The morning of your surgery: On the day of your surgery, please arrive to the hospital at the instructed time.


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