Returning home after joint surgery
Everyone reaches their post-operative goals at different times. This determines whether it is safe for us to let you go home on the same day as your operation, or, if you need to spend a little longer with us at the hospital.
Bring suitable clothing
- Clothes that are easy to put on and loose enough to allow any swelling in your leg
- Your footwear should not be flip flops or slip on / mules: they should have a supportive back and no laces
- Practising walking in normal day clothes will make this easier and more comfortable
Arrange for someone to collect you
When you have been cleared for discharge, you can contact your family or friend to come and collect you from the hospital.
Arrange for support at home
If you are going home on the same day as your operation you will need an adult who can stay with you, or someone you can stay with for the next 24hrs. You may find it helpful to arrange for a friend or relative to stay with you for a few days after your return. You should arrange this before you come in to have your surgery.
Keep active after your operation
The sooner you can get up and walk after you operation, the better and faster your recovery will. You will have a lower risk of complications after your surgery. Keeping still after your operation tends to result in swelling of your leg making it more painful to walk. This can cause more side effects, which requires more pain relief, resulting in a vicious circle.
Joint replacement surgery is painful – just like any other surgery. The first few weeks can be a difficult period. However, it is important to stay active and keep up with your movement exercises. We will be giving you strong pain relief medication, but you should still expect there to be mild-to-moderate pain on movement.
Moving reduces swelling and stiffness – resulting in less pain and fewer side effects.
The pain relief package you receive has been specially designed to try and control your pain as well as possible. It starts from the day of your surgery and continues after your discharge home. It requires you to take your medications at specific times.
We will give you the same pain relief tablets whether you stay in hospital overnight or return home on the same day as your operation.
We will be asking you to take additional medications to help minimise side effects, such as nausea or constipation. Other medications will be given to reduce the chance of certain complications, such as blood clots after your operation. You will be given clear information about the medications you are sent home with, and when to take the doses.