After surgery, you will go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), where you will be closely monitored for one to two hours.
While you are
recovering, your physician will talk with your family. During your time in the
recovery room, we will establish pain control, monitor your vital signs and may
take an x-ray of your new joint. You may have an oxygen tube in your nose when you
wake up, and you will still have the IV line .You may also have a catheter in
your bladder to drain your urine.
After your stay in the PACU, you will be taken to your room on the orthopedic unit. Family members or friends may visit. During this time, you will be receiving pain medication through your IV and/or a pain pump. As soon as possible, start your exercises. You will be allowed a clear liquid diet initially. If you tolerate this diet well, you may advance to more solid foods for supper. You may have a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump. This pump delivers a dose of pain medication when you press the button. The physical therapist and case manager may visit you later in the day. If you had a total knee replacement you may be placed on a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine to start exercising your leg.
post surgery to discharge
Recovery is different
for every person. Posted in your room are goals to mark your progress and to
help you and your family know what to expect. The nursing staff will orient you
to the unit. Please don't hesitate to ask questions or use your call bell to
get help. We are here for you! Your registered nurse and case manager will
assess your needs on an ongoing basis and adjust your care accordingly.
Your case manager will talk to you and keep you informed about your progress, in order to arrange appropriate discharge. Expect to be discharged two to three days after surgery. Most patients go directly home. If you need to stay at a rehabilitation facility, we can make arrangements for you.
the night following
You will be encouraged to sit up on the side of the bed. Your nurse or physical therapist will help you. Please do not attempt to walk or sit in a chair without help from the nursing staff or physical therapist! This is very important.
how to minimize complications
Deep Vein Thromboses (DVTs) are blood clots that can form in your legs. Exercise and ambulation are the most important things you can do to help minimize the chance of getting DVTs. Other ways are with medications (blood thinners such as Coumadin and Lovenox) and compression devices placed on your legs.
Leg and ankle swelling can be reduced by elevating the operative leg, avoiding sitting for more than 30 to 45 minutes at a time and performing your ankle exercises. The risk of pneumonia can be minimized by doing breathing exercise with your incentive spirometer. Infection can be reduced by keeping the dressing clean and dry. Call your doctor if you have a fever greater than 1 01 o or if the incision becomes swollen, red, or exhibits changes in the color, amount or odor of the drainage.
If you had a total hip replacement, dislocation of the new joint can be minimized by following specific hip precautions. Your physical therapist will instruct you with regards to hip precautions. Also, refer to the “exercise guide” handout.