Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Below is an overview of our recommendations for before, during, and after your joint replacement surgery. It is not intended to take the place of any instructions provided by your orthopedic doctor, but we do encourage you to discuss this information with your orthopedic surgeon.

Questions you may want to ask your orthopedic doctor

We suggest that you print out a list of questions and take it with you the next time you meet with your orthopedic surgeon.  Summit Healthcare Orthopedic Center provides you with JointCOACH on-line education, Guidebook with lots of pertinent information and an Orthopedic Program Manager to help you.

Four weeks before surgery.

  • Become familiar with your joint anatomy. You may find it helpful to understand your joint anatomy and read answers to common questions prior to orthopedic surgery. You will receive a guidebook once you have scheduled your surgery.
  • Register for pre-op class at Summit Healthcare by calling (928) 537-6381

Three weeks before surgery.

  • Store frequently used items (cleaning supplies, canned foods, toiletries, etc.) in easy to reach locations. Avoid very high or very low shelves that would require you to kneel or use a step stool.
  • Make and freeze meals, or stock up on frozen dinners before your orthopedic surgery, so that meal preparation is easier and requires less effort. You should plan on making enough meals for up to two weeks.
  • Contact friends and family for support. You may need help with activities such as driving, shopping, and moving items in your home.
  • Check the safety of your home to prevent falls or tripping. Move long electrical and telephone cords against the wall, remove rugs, and place a non-skid mat in your bathtub. You may want to prepare a bed in the downstairs level of your home to reduce stair climbing.

Two weeks before surgery

  • Attend the Pre-Operative Joint Class.  Please bring all of your medications and supplements with you to this class.
  • Following the class, you will meet with pharmacy to review your medications, perform pre-admission testing such as lab work and EKGs.  You will also meet with the Perioperative Coordinator to review your medical history.   You may also meet with an anesthesia provider.
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications. Your orthopedic doctor may not want you to take any aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.) for the 10-14 days before surgery. You may be able to take Tylenol or medicines with acetaminophen, but be sure to discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon
  • Purchase or borrow the special equipment your orthopedic surgeon recommends. This may include a front wheel rolling walker, an elevated bedside commode, and/or small devices such as a grabber.   Summit Healthcare will arrange to have a walker delivered to your hospital room if you do not have one.  You can find these items at most hospital supply sections of large drug stores or the internet. Practice using the items at home before your orthopedic surgery.

One week before surgery

  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications. Keep in mind that your orthopedic doctor may not want you to take any aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.) for the 14 days before surgery. You may be able to take Tylenol or medicines with acetaminophen, but be sure to discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon.
  • Manage finances. You may want to balance your checkbook, pay bills, make arrangements to board pets, and stop the delivery of your newspaper or mail.
  • Contact local supermarkets and pharmacies. Some supermarkets and pharmacies will provide delivery or mail order services to your home.

Week of surgery

  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications. Keep in mind that your orthopedic doctor may not want you to take any aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.) for the 10-14 days before surgery. You may be able to take Tylenol or medicines with acetaminophen, but be sure to discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon
  • Pack for the hospital.

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928.537.0033