Going 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.
Please remember to bring suitable clothing to wear for your discharge home:
- 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
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.
The sooner you can get up and walk after you surgery, the better and faster your recovery will be and the lower the risk of complications. Keeping still after your operation tends to result in swelling of your leg, making it more painful to walk and meaning you may require 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 complications.
The pain relief package you receive has been specially designed to try and control your pain as well as possible.
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.
You could also be give additional medication to help minimise side effects, such as nausea or constipation, or reduce the chance of certain complications, such as blood clots.
You will be given clear information about the medications you are sent home with, and when to take the doses.