Questions and Answers

Q: Can I eat or drink the morning of surgery?
 
A: It is very important that you do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes no gum or breath lozenges. However, you may have a sip of water with your blood pressure medication the morning of surgery.
 
Q: What do I need to pre-register?
 
A: Driver's license, Insurance Card, Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, Advanced Directive.
 
Q: Should I take a shower the morning of surgery?
 
A: Before leaving for surgery, you are encouraged to shower using an antibacterial soap, Dial, for example.
 
Q: What should I bring on the day of surgery?
 
A: Bring suitcases, but leave them in the car so your loved one does not have to keep up with them for several hours. You will need them once you have a private room assigned after surgery.
 
Q: How long will surgery last?
 
A: Approximately 2-4 hours, depending on the type of procedure and any pre-existing joint conditions.
 
Q: What is the implant made of?
 
A: Implants are either made of Cobalt Chrome or Titanium, (depending on the brand of implant), and a high density polyethylene piece that is inserted between the two metal parts.
 
Q: What should I plan to wear when I am in the hospital?
 
A: It is very important that you plan to wear only loose clothing and slip on non-skid shoes with backs that will not interfere with your movement or therapy during your post-operative stay in the hospital.
 
Q: How long will I have to keep the CPM machine on?
 
A: You will use the CPM between therapy sessions while you are in the hospital until you can flex/bend your knee to 90 degrees or more.
 
Q: When will the SCD or Sequential Compression Device be removed?
 
A: This will be determined on an individual basis by your physician's assessment of your status and needs but you should expect to keep them on when you are in bed for at least 2-3 days.
 
Q: When can I take a bath after surgery?
 
A: You should not shower until released by your physician and there is no drainage from the incision. You should not get into a pool, bath, or hot tub until you have been advised that you can do so.
 
Q: How long will I have swelling and pain?
 
A: This could last up to 3-4 months after surgery depending on your activity level and other medical conditions.
 
Q: When can I quit wearing the compression stockings?
 
A: This will be determined on a case-by-case basis by your physician based on several factors including but not limited to the degree of swelling you are having in your leg.
 
Q: Should I use ice or heat on my knee?
 
A: You should use ice before and after your therapy sessions and as needed throughout the day for pain control. Only apply for 15 minutes at a time.
 
Q: When will I be able to drive?
 
A: You will need to be off all narcotic pain medications and be released to drive by your physician which is usually several weeks after your surgery.
 
Q: Will I need physical therapy when I go home?
 
A: Yes. You will receive therapy in the post-acute care facility that you choose to go to or physical therapy will be provided in your home for 1-2 weeks if you choose to go home with home health services. Once you are able to attend outpatient physical therapy sessions you are encouraged to do so.
 
Q: Will I need help at home?
 
A: Maybe. Most patients have done their pre-operative physical therapy are able to function well at home without great assistance. However, our program is designed for patients to have an assistant or "coach" to help them at home. For the first several days or weeks, depending on your progress, you will benefit from someone to assist you with meal preparation, etc.
 
Q: Will I need a walker?
 
A: Walker will be used upon discharge until your progress has deemed the use of another mobility device. The home health or outpatient therapist will be the one in charge of recommending the appropriate device as progress is achieved.
 
Q: Will I be able to return to my home directly from the hospital?
 
A: Most patients are discharged home after surgery. If your care needs cannot be met at home, you may need to go to an inpatient rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility for a short period of time. Prior to surgery, it is important to plan ahead for your discharge.
 
Q: What type of car should I go home in?
 
A: A mid-sized vehicle is ideal. If possible, do not plan to go home in a large truck or small two-door car. A seat that can be adjusted is best. Bring a couple of extra pillows in the care for your comfort.
 
Q: What if I have a long drive from the hospital?
 
A: If you are discharged from the hospital, but are not quite ready for a long car ride, we recommend you stay at a nearby hotel that night. See the list provided for places to stay. You might also consider this helpful the night prior to surgery.
 
Q: How will my family know what my discharge plan is?
 
A: The Case Manager/Social Worker will communicate and work with you and your family on your discharge plan throughout your hospital stay.
 
Q: What physical/recreational activities may I participate in after my recovery?
 
A: You are encouraged to participate in low impact activities such as walking, dancing, golfing, hiking, swimming, bowling and gardening.
 
 

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