Preparation for Joint Replacement

Two weeks

  • Pre-admission testing completed.
  • Start pre-op exercise program.
  • Begin preparing your home for your return.
  • Wash daily with anti-bacterial soap.

In pre-admission testing, you will:

  • Be registered in our computer system.
  • See an RN who will obtain a medical history.
  • Have lab work done, if needed.
  • Have an EKG or other testing, depending on your history and lab results.

Five days

  • Stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories and arthritis medication (Motrin, Advil, etc.), as directed by your physician.
  • Reduce alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Don't shave or wax legs from now until after surgery.

Day before surgery

  • Wash with anti-bacterial soap twice for at least two minutes each time. Make sure to rinse the soap completely off your skin.
  • Avoid eating or drinking after midnight.

Day of surgery

  • Take any medications your physician has prescribed with a small sip of water.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Report to the hospital's Short Stay Holding area on the second floor of NMMC's East Tower or North Mississippi Surgery Center, depending on where your surgery is scheduled.


Good nutrition is an important factor in healing. Drink extra liquids four to five days before surgery to stay hydrated. Being well-hydrated may help prevent post-operative nausea. We recommend a balanced diet of a variety of foods from My Plate – the dietary recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Packing for the Joint Replacement Center

If staying overnight in the hospital, pack these items in your bag:

  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Tennis shoes or flat shoes with a rubber sole and closed in heel
  • Personal hygiene toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo
  • Eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids (and batteries), eye drops and denture cases
  • Your CPAP machine if you use one
  • Blood donation card (if you have one)
  • A list of medications you are currently taking, including dosages
  • Information on any food or medication allergies
  • A copy of your Living Will/Advanced Directive if you have one
  • A copy of your insurance card
  • Photo ID

Do not bring:

  • Jewelry, credit cards, large sums of cash or other valuables

In the Recovery Area

Surgery usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Average length of time in the Recovery Area is one hour.

If being discharged the day of surgery, you will be taken to a holding area until time to go home. Physical and occupational therapists will work with you here before you leave.

If staying overnight, you will be transferred to the Joint Replacement Center after your time in Recovery.

After surgery, your care team will make sure your pain is managed through use of pain medications when needed. They will lead you through deep breathing and coughing exercises to be sure your lungs stay healthy. You will wear support stockings to prevent blood clots. There are ankle pump exercises you will be asked to do as a way to prevent blood clots. Blood thinning medications may be used as well.

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