For Patients: A To-Do List Before Total Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery is an effective procedure that can considerably improve your quality of life. However, before you undergo surgery, there are a few things you should do to prepare. Here is a to-do list to help you get ready for your joint replacement surgery:

  1. Meet with your surgeon: Before the surgery, you will have a consultation with your surgeon. During this meeting, your surgeon will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
  2. Get medical clearance: Your surgeon will likely require that you get medical clearance from your primary care physician before the surgery. This will ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
  3. Stop smoking: If you smoke, your surgeon will likely ask you to quit before the surgery. This is because smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
  4. Arrange for help: Joint replacement surgery requires a period of recovery, so you will need someone to help you with daily tasks during this time. Make arrangements for someone to help you before the surgery.
  5. Gather necessary items: You will need to have certain items on hand for your recovery, such as comfortable clothing, slippers, and a raised toilet seat. Make sure you have these items before the surgery.
  6. Prepare your home: You will need to prepare your home for your recovery by making it easy to navigate and removing any potential hazards.
  7. Stock up on supplies: You will need certain supplies for your recovery, such as pain medication and ice packs. Make sure you have these items before the surgery.
  8. Get a good night’s sleep: The night before the surgery, make sure you get a good night’s sleep to ensure you are well-rested and ready for the procedure.
  9. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet before surgery can help to improve your overall health and speed up your recovery.
  10. Avoid certain medications: Your surgeon will likely advise you to avoid certain medications, such as blood thinners, before the surgery.
  11. Follow instructions: Be sure to follow all instructions given to you by your surgeon before the surgery.
  12. Take your pre-op medications: You will be given certain medications to take before the surgery. Be sure to take them as directed.
  13. Do your exercises: Your surgeon may give you exercises to do before the surgery to help prepare your body for the procedure.
  14. Get your affairs in order: Before the surgery, take care of any important business or personal matters.
  15. Keep your loved ones informed: Keep your loved ones informed of your surgery and recovery progress.
  16. Pack a bag: Pack a bag with the essentials you will need during your hospital stay.
  17. Prepare for transportation: Arrange for transportation to and from the hospital.
  18. Keep your ID and Insurance card handy: Keep your ID and Insurance card handy for the day of the surgery
  19. Keep your surgeon updated: Keep your surgeon updated of any changes in your health condition before the surgery
  20. Read the patient manual: Read the patient manual provided by the hospital and be prepared for the pre-op process
  21. Get your finances in order: Get your finances in order and make sure you understand the cost of the surgery and any possible additional cost
  22. Set realistic expectations: Be realistic about the recovery process and the results of the surgery
  23. Follow post-op instructions: Follow all post-op instructions given by your surgeon

This article was written by Edona Hyla as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Edona’s research is focussing on Understanding the Nature, Origin and Degradation of Implant Debris at the University of Leeds, UK