Joint Replacement Surgery
Your family will be able to visit you in your room in the Center for Joint Replacement. If your family is large, one or two members should do the calling and share the information with the rest of the family. This allows the nurses to give all of their attention to the care of their patients.
When you wake up from surgery, you can expect to feel tired and groggy. Your knee will be covered with an ace dressing. You will be wearing support hose (TED Hose) on the unoperated knee. A drain tube may be used by your surgeon to collect blood from the operated knee. This drain may be removed on day 1 or 2 of your hospital stay. Not all surgeons use drains.
Surgical Discomfort is felt differently by everyone. There are a variety of ways to control discomfort. You and your doctor will discuss your options. Options are:
- Epidurals: thread-like catheter placed in the area outside your spinal cord to bathe the nerve roots in painkillers. If an Epidural catheter is selected, it will be placed before surgery.
- PCA Machines: a unit placed on your IV pole that delivers small doses of a narcotic through your IV when you press a button.
- Oral Medications: which we will use as soon as you can tolerate them and will continue throughout your hospitalization and when you go home.
We encourage you to use your medication to relieve your discomfort because refusing it will only slow your rehabilitation; the sooner and more you move, the better. If your medicine is causing you any discomfort or unusual feelings, please tell your nurse.
On the first day after surgery, the dressings over your incision will be changed and may be removed after several days when there is no more drainage. Also on this day, the tube in your bladder will be removed. At this time, you may change into your own loose fitting, comfortable clothes.
The day of surgery, you will receive a clear diet. As soon as your bowel sounds return to normal and you feel ready, your diet will be advanced to regular food.