Joint Replacement Center
Commonly Asked Questions
Is joint replacement surgery safe?
Joint replacement is a safe and common procedure with nearly 1 million Americans having a hip or knee replacement each year. Any surgical procedure has risks. Hospital staff and your Physician will review these with you and explain how the post-surgical program can reduce risk and result in better patient outcomes and a rapid recovery.
Are there any medications I need to take or stop taking before surgery?
Your Physician will review your home medication list with you approximately 7-10 days prior to your surgery. During the pre-operative education class a Pharmacist will speak with you on proper medication management before, during and after your stay on the JRC.
What do I need to bring with me to the hospital?
- Bring your guidebook that you received from your Physician, with the home medication list complete. Any paperwork the center has requested.
- Bring loose fitting clothing, nonskid shoes or slippers with closed backs, personal toiletries.
- If you have your own walker, cane or crutches, you can bring them to the hospital to assure appropriate size and stability.
- Leave all valuables at home
Can my family stay with me?
Your family may stay with you until you are taken to the pre-operative holding area. They will be asked to go to the waiting room at that time.
We ask that family members do not stay overnight in patient rooms, and if needed we have the Trinity Guest House available.
When should I arrive to the hospital?
You should arrive 2 hours before surgery time to go through the admission process, change into appropriate attire, meet with nursing personnel to assure a smooth transition, meet with your surgeon and anesthesia team.
Do not eat or drink the evening before your surgery. You may be allowed to take pre-approved medications with a sip of water.
Will I be put to sleep for the surgery?
You will receive a spinal anesthesia which causes a temporary loss of feeling in the lower half of the body. A local anesthesia is used to numb the skin where the needle is inserted so the entire process produces very little pain or discomfort. Additional anesthesia may become necessary.
Will the operation hurt?
Many patients experience mild discomfort in the days following the operation. As with any surgery, individual results and experience with the joint replacement vary. Please speak with your Physician about pain management options. You may receive pain medication through IV (Intravenous) or oral medication. Within a few hours of returning to the JRC floor you should be mobile with therapy staff.
How long will the surgery last?
Surgery can last anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the difficulty of your case. Each individual will vary.
What will my stay on the JRC be like?
- You will be transported from the recovery room to the 6th floor JRC wing once your surgeon and anesthesiologist deem it safe for you to be transported.
- When you are fully awake, you will eat and drink as tolerated. Vital signs, drainage from the surgical site, and urine output will be monitored by your nurse.
- Pain management will be closely monitored throughout your stay. Remember to inform your Nurse when you are noticing discomfort/pain in the joint you had replaced.
How long will I be on the JRC?
A typical length of stay on the JRC is 3 days. If further therapy sessions are needed we will arrange those sessions for you.
Do I need to use a walker?
Yes, for approximately 6 weeks we recommend that you use your walker.
Will I need pain medicine after I'm discharged?
Patients are sent home with a pain medication prescription. Expect to take some type of pain medication for several weeks after discharge, especially at night and before your therapy sessions. You can call your Physician office for prescription renewals.
Will I need help at home?
Yes, for the first several weeks depending on your progress, you may need someone to assist you at home. Preparing ahead of time, before your surgery, can minimize the amount of help needed. Having the laundry done, house cleaned, yard work completed, clean linens put on the bed, and single portion frozen meals will help reduce the need for extra help.