What to Expect
With your upcoming surgery, we know you may have plenty of questions. Below are a handful of questions and answers typically fielded by our starff:
How long will my surgery last?
- The time will vary based on the type of surgery being performed. Joint replacements usually take about 1-2 hours. Spine surgeries may take longer depending on the complexity of the case.
How long will I be in the hospital?
- All joint replacement surgeries such as hip, knee, and shoulder are discharged the day after surgery. Depending on the complexity of spine cases, some patients go home the day of surgery and others may stay overnight at least one night.
Will I be in pain?
- Yes, you should expect to have pain after surgery. Our goal is to make sure your pain is tolerable so that you are able to participate in therapy and complete your daily activities.
How soon can I walk again?
- Staff will be getting you up to walk a few hours after surgery is done and to have you up in the chair for every meal.
Will I need to use a walking aid?
- Most people will need to use a walker after surgery. Any equipment that you need for home will be ordered for you prior to discharge by our case management team.
When can I take a shower?
- Most patients are able to shower within a few days of surgery. Until your bandage comes off, it’s important to keep the bandage clean and dry to prevent infection. You will not be allowed to submerge in water (e.g. baths, swimming, hot tubs) until the incision is healed. The surgeon will let you know when it is safe to do so.
When can I drive?
- Time can vary between 2-6 weeks depending on your surgery and recovery. You must be able to operate the car safely and not be taking pain medications.
What are the signs of a blood clot?
- Call your surgeon right away if you have signs and symptoms including pain, tenderness, or swelling in your calf.
When should I call my doctor?
- Uncontrolled pain
- GI problems including constipation, nausea or vomiting
- Problems urinating
- Increase in drainage from incision
- Your incision is pulling apart
- Signs and symptoms of infection including presence of pus-like drainage, temperature greater than 101.5, incision smells foul
- Signs or symptoms of a blood clot: pain, tenderness, or swelling in your calf
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness