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After Surgery

After Surgery

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Post Surgery to Discharge

  • Most patients go directly home 2-3 days after surgery.  Recovery is different for every person. Goals to mark your progress and help you and your family know what to expect will be posted in your room.
  •  The night following your surgery you will be encouraged to sit up on the side of the bed. Your nurse or physical therapist will help you.  Please do not attempt to walk or sit in a chair without help from the nursing staff or physical therapist! This is very important.

  • The nursing staff will orient you to the unit. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or use your call bell to get help. We are here for you! 
  • Your registered nurse and case manager will assess your needs on an ongoing basis and adjust your care accordingly.
  • Medication will be available to help control your pain. This is especially helpful when taken about 30-45 minutes before your physical therapy. 
  • The physical therapist will work with you every day. Refer to the handout describing your exercises.
  • Your case manager will talk with you and stay informed about your progress, in order to arrange appropriate discharge.
  • Arrangements can be made if a stay at a rehabilitation facility is needed.

How to Minimize Complications Once You Go Home

  • Deep Vein Thromboses (DVT’s) are blood clots that can form in your legs. Exercise and ambulation are the most important things you can do to help minimize the chance of getting DVT’s. Other ways are with medications (blood thinners such as Coumadin and Lovenox) and compression devices placed on your legs.
  • Leg and ankle swelling can be reduced by elevating the operative leg, avoiding sitting for more than 30-45 minutes at a time and performing your ankle exercises.
  • The risk of pneumonia can be minimized by doing breathing exercise with the incentive spirometer you were given at the hospital.
  • Infection can be reduced by keeping the dressing clean and dry. Call your doctor if you have a fever greater than 101º or if the incision becomes swollen, red, or exhibits changes in the color, amount or odor of the drainage.
  • If you had a total hip replacement, dislocation of the new joint can be minimized by following specific hip precautions (Your physical therapist will instruct you with regards to hip precautions. Also, refer to the Exercises handout).