Pre-Operative Joint Replacement FAQ

Before joint replacement surgery, it is important to have all required documentation. Vital information to provide the orthopedic surgeon includes:

  • List of all medications
  • Allergies or any previous adverse reactions
  • List of pre-existing health problems

All patients undergoing joint replacement will have a pre op physical by their primary care physician to address medical problems and medication management. If you do not have a primary care physician, let Candice know and she will help find one for you.

Patients do benefit from preop exercise for all joint replacement procedures. The strength and flexibility improvements carry over to the post-op recovery. Dr. O’Keefe can provide you with simple exercises that you can do on your own. Following surgery, physical therapists will direct your recovery.

On the day of surgery, it is recommended that patients bring:

  • Loose fitting clothing for the hospital stay and physical therapy
  • List of medications
  • A copy of the preoperative history and physical exam
  • Copies of insurance information
  • Personal care items, such as a hair brush and toothbrush
  • On the day of surgery, do not wear makeup, hair products, perfume or jewelry. Leave all valuables at home.

Patients will check in at the surgical admission desk at Mercy hospital or will go to the 3rd floor of Blaine Orthopedic Surgery Center. Patients change into a gown, go over the process for the day with the admitting nurse and have an IV started. The Anesthesiologist will discuss anesthesia options (spinal vs general anesthetic) and you will meet the CRNA (nurse anesthetist). Lastly, Dr. O’Keefe with go over your surgical procedure with you including details of the surgery, risks, length of procedure and recovery. Following surgery, Dr. O’Keefe will meet with or call your family member to discuss procedure details.

Patients can usually return to most daily activities by 6-8 weeks. Some patients take a bit longer while some recover quicker. Return to work depends on how physically demanding the job is, but even jobs that require full time standing and walking usually can be tolerated by 6-8 weeks. It is recommended that patients prepare their home by:
  • Removing trip hazards ie rugs
  • Place frequently used items in easy to reach places
  • Add bathroom aids such as a shower chair or shower bar
It is recommended that a friend or family member stay with the patient for the first 1-2 days after returning home to assist with activities of daily living (transferring from bed to chairs, bathroom assistance, dressing changes, etc).