Before and After Joint Replacement Surgery
Medical advances over the last two decades have made joint replacement surgeries much easier for patients, resulting in easier recoveries, improved outcomes and shorter hospital stays. In fact, many patients who have a joint replacement leave the hospital the same day.
The best joint replacement outcomes begin before surgery even takes place. Several steps taken now will help your recovery later.
- Take the time to learn about your surgery ahead of time.
- Choose a surgery coach to will support you during and after your procedure—this is usually a family member or friend.
- Get any equipment you might need and make changes around your house it easier for you when you get home.
Our online pre-surgery handouts and videos offer important information about your entire surgery experience. Patients who look through these educational materials before surgery usually feel:
- Less anxious going into surgery.
- More prepared for their surgery.
- Better pain control after surgery.
That’s why we strongly urge you to check out these materials early, so you have time to get prepared and ask questions. To help you keep track of key events and to-do items, we have a developed a checklist for you.
What to Expect After Joint Replacement Surgery
After surgery, you can expect our team to get you sitting up and walking as soon as possible. Early mobility is essential to a successful outcome after joint replacement surgery. You and your surgery coach will meet with a physical therapist to begin your rehabilitation program while you’re in the hospital. Our program gives you the confidence you need to discharge home safely.
Rehabilitation After Joint Replacement Surgery
You and your physical therapist will continue to work toward your full recovery after you leave the hospital. Many patients visit with their therapists in their clinics weekly or more often. You and your surgeon will decide the best rehab plan for your unique situation.
After your visits, be sure to continue your exercise plan at home. The work you do at home will make the biggest difference in your future mobility.
Staying Comfortable Through Recovery
Your comfort is an important part of your recovery. Surgery and recovery aren’t painless, but your doctors are committed to helping you manage your pain. Our proven strategies include:
- Anesthesia education
- Multimodal analgesia, which uses combinations of painkillers that target different pain pathways.
- Opioid-sparing interventions to reduce your risk of later struggles with opioids.
- Continuous nerve block for pain relief, when appropriate.
This is another reason why having a coordinated team for your joint replacement is so valuable. When it comes to your surgery and recovery, we’re all on the same page.
A note on prescription safety and opioid education: We strive to manage your pain with nonopioid medications and interventions. Sometimes opioid painkillers are still necessary after surgery. These powerful pain medications can help control severe pain after joint replacement, but they should only be taken:
- As prescribed.
- As needed.
- For a short time.
It’s also important how you dispose of any unused opioid medication you no longer need. Learn how.
To learn more about pain management and prescription safety after joint replacement, click here.
Always Here for You
Whether your joint surgery is coming up or you’re in recovery, you have 24/7/365 access to our joint replacement helpline. Just call (425) 688-5579 to leave nonemergency messages about any questions or concerns you have.
We check this voicemail during weekday business hours and will call you back within a business day. Please note that questions about your appointments, medications and prescription refills should go directly to your surgeon’s office.