Preparing for Joint Surgery
The weeks and months leading up to your surgery are as important as the operation day itself. After your surgery you will either be returning home the same day or staying one night at the hospital. You should therefore, plan and think how things will be for your when your return home.
It is important that you attend all your appointments before your surgery date.
Before your operation, you will be sent a pre-assessment appointment with a specially trained nurse. You will be asked questions about your health, medical history and home circumstances.
Click here to read more about the pre-assessment process.
You will need to arrange a family or friend to collect your after your surgery. The hospital does not provide transport back to your home.
Assistance after your surgery
Many patients having a joint replacement have lived with joint pain for some time and will have adapted to certain situations at home already. However, when recovering from your surgery you may also find you need some initial help with general tasks such as cooking, shopping, and cleaning. You will need to organise this help before your operation date.
If you are going home on the day of surgery, you will need someone who can stay with you at least for the first day.
Very few patients need additional care support at home. If your personal choice is the have this, then you will need to organise this privately. The NHS can only provide additional care based on assessed need and cannot arrange convalescent care.
Preparing your home
Preparing your home in advance is helpful for when you are discharged. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- freeze some simple to cook meals or have some ready meals available
- move regularly used items which are heavy or out of reach to more accessible areas – such as moving saucepans up from low shelves or cupboards
- avoid potential trip hazards by removing loose rugs and obstacles from the floor such as excess furniture or things that could be easily tripped over
- plan for someone to care for any pets
- buy some ‘over the counter’ pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
Keep fit and healthy
The fitter you are for your surgery the less likely you are to have complications during or after your surgery. You should aim to make some lifestyle improvements such as:
- reducing or stopping alcohol
- stopping smoking
- improving your fitness through strengthening exercises and walking, cycling and swimming
- losing weight
Click here to read more about the lifestyle choices you can make to help improve your recovery from surgery.
Pack a small bag to bring to hospital
- all medications in their original packets in a clear plastic bag
- loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and take off
- footwear with loose fitting back and no laces (no flip flops or slip-on shoes). Footwear should be easy to put on and take off
- phone, charger, headset and music device to listen too
- glasses and hearing aids
- walking aids – please ensure they are labelled
- something to read to occupy you such as a book or magazines
- please avoid bring large items and minimise high valuables such jewellery, credit cards and cash