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Joint Replacement Center

Daily Recovery Guide

Day of Surgery:

You will arrive at the hospital and should have had nothing to eat or drink since midnight the night before. Your surgery will last approximately one and a half to two hours, and once it is finished you will spend about an hour in the recovery room. When you are discharged from this area you will be taken to your assigned area on the Joint Replacement Unit to begin your recovery and rehabilitation process. The team will do everything possible to make your stay an extraordinary one.

Day One:

The day after surgery is often the most difficult for patients recovering from total knee replacement. Even though you may feel drowsy and not want to get out of bed much, it is important to make your best effort in your group and individual physical therapy sessions, which begin today. One of your goals is to work toward sitting up in a chair as much as you are able to tolerate. Our specially trained staff will check on you frequently throughout the day to make sure you are comfortable and help you manage post-operative pain. The physical and occupational therapists monitor your progress. The group therapy sessions provide the benefit of experiencing the recovery process with other patients who have had joint replacement surgery.

You can be better prepared for the therapy sessions by dressing in comfortable clothes and resting in your recliner for a short time before the sessions. We also recommend that you ask your nurse for pain medication about 30 minutes before your therapy is scheduled to begin.

Day Two:

Your individual and group physical therapy sessions will continue today. They will be held once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Remember, these sessions are held to help you get back on your feet, so give it your best effort!

Each day, your strength and endurance should improve. Keep in mind that a well-balanced diet promotes healing and recovery.

Day Three:

Our goal is to help you recover as quickly and safely as possible. Once you're able to walk longer distances and are making consistent progress, you'll be ready to go home. You should be able to go home when you can accomplish the tasks listed under the hip and knee goals.

Discharge Day:

Congratulations! Today marks a big step for you. Discharge day means your doctor has determined that you are ready to leave the Joint Replacement Center. You still have some hard work ahead with exercise and rehabilitation, but you should celebrate the progress you've made so far. Before you go home, we will make sure that all your discharge needs are addressed. You can expect:

  • A prescription for pain medicine
  • A prescription for a blood thinner if your doctor ordered one
  • Instructions from your surgeon and staff
  • A plan for your exercise routine
  • An appointment for a follow-up visit with your physician