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

  • If ordered by your physician, take Coumadin at 5 p.m. the day before surgery, only if ordered by your physician.
  • Wash with anti-bacterial soap twice for at least two minutes each time. Make sure to rinse the soap completely off your skin.
  • Pack comfortable clothes to wear while at the Joint Replacement Center.
  • Avoid eating or drinking after midnight.

Day of surgery

Take any medications your physician has prescribed with a small sip of water.
Report to the hospital's Short Stay Holding area on the second floor of NMMC's East Tower.


Good nutrition is an important factor in healing. Drink extra liquids 4-5 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

Items to include 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.

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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