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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us at 845.368.5644

What are the Major Risks?

Most surgeries go well, without any complications. Infection, blood clots, bleeding and dislocation are serious complications that concern us the most. To minimize these complications, we use various treatments such as early mobilization, antibiotics, blood thinners and reinforcement of special post-surgery precautions. We also take special measures in the operating room to reduce risk of infections. The chances of this happening in your lifetime are 1% or less. 

What Type of Anesthesia Will I Have?

Prior to your surgery, you will meet with your anesthesiologist to review your medical history and formulate the most appropriate anesthetic to meet your individual needs. The anesthesia used can be any of the following:  Spinal, epidural, general, regional nerve block, or a combination of any of the above.  Spinal and regional nerve block are the most common and the gold standard.  No matter what type of anesthesia you have, be assured you will not feel the surgery. 

How Will My Pain Be Managed After My Surgery?

Your anesthesiologist will formulate the best and most appropriate medication regimen to control your pain.  Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, numbness and weakness in the legs.  Rest assured, your comfort is our top priority and your anesthesiologist will see you on a daily basis to assess your pain and side effects and adjust your treatments accordingly. 

How Long Does the Surgery Take?

Approximately 2-2 ½ hours are reserved for your surgery; however, your surgery may take less. 

How Long Will I Be in the Hospital Following My Joint Replacement?

Typically following a joint replacement, you will stay in the hospital 2-3 days. Certain goals need to be met in order for you to be discharged.

Where Will I Go After Discharge From the Hospital?

Most patients are able to go home directly after discharge.  Some may transfer to a sub-acute facility or to an inpatient rehab center. Your Good Samaritan Hospital team, including your case manager, will help you with this decision and make the necessary arrangements. You should check with your insurance company regarding benefits prior to your surgery.

Will I Need Help at Home? What If I Live Alone?

During the first several days or weeks, depending on your progress, you will need someone to assist you with meal preparations, etc. If you go directly home from the hospital, you will have you will have outpatient services scheduled.  It would be beneficial if family members or friends are available to help you, especially if you live alone. Making special preparations before your surgery can minimize the amount of help required.  

Preparation plans can include:  

  • Food preparation and meal planning 
  • House preparation and safety modifications
  • Getting durable medical equipment (ex:  walkers, canes, commodes) 
  • Asking for family or friends' help and resources
  • Setting up transportation 

Will I Need Special Equipment at Home?

Yes, access to durable medical equipment (DME) will be necessary for your recovery.  Examples of DMEs include:  walkers, canes, commodes, crutches, etc.  Prior to your hospitalization, please discuss obtaining these with your surgeon during your office visit.  Some insurance plans cover DMEs prior to the day of your surgery, if that is not the case for you, our case management team will coordinate getting you the appropriate equipment. We recommend that you use a walker, cane or crutches for about six weeks after your surgery. 

Will I Need Physical Therapy When I Go Home?

If you go directly home from the hospital, you will either have outpatient physical therapy or a therapist may come to your home. 

Do You Recommend Any Restrictions Following This Surgery?

Yes. High-impact activities, such as running, interval training, tennis and basketball are not recommended. You will need to follow the precautions recommended by your physician. 

What Physical/Recreational Activities May I Participate in After My Recovery?

You are encouraged to participate in low-impact activities such as walking, dancing, hiking, swimming, bowling and gardening.

When Will I Be Able to Get Back to Work?

We recommend that most people take at least one month off of work, unless your job is sedentary and you can return to work with crutches or other assistive devices. An occupational therapist can make recommendations for joint protection and energy conservation on the job.

How Long Until I Can Drive?  When am I Cleared to Fly?

Typically, when you are discharged you will be independent with basic activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing.  Your physician or physical therapist can advise you on when you can resume driving.  Discuss long distance travel plans with your physician and physical therapist, but most patients are cleared for air travel after 6 weeks.    

How Often Will I Need to Be Seen by My Doctor Following the Surgery?

Your first post-operative office visit is usually two weeks after discharge.  The frequency of follow-up visits will depend on your progress. Many patients are seen monthly until stable and then yearly.

If you have any other questions, please speak with your physician.