Orthopedic Surgery – Joint Replacement

We provide post-operative (after surgery) care for patients who have a joint replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery, also called arthroplasty, is often needed for people who suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or injury affecting the hip and knee.

Care We Provide

During your stay, you will be cared for by a team of dedicated health care providers who will assist you with your recovery and prepare you to care for yourself at home.

Getting Ready for Surgery

One of the most common reasons for a joint replacement is damage caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a form of arthritis that causes the joints to wear out. Osteoarthritis usually affects the hips and knees and can result in pain and difficulty moving.

Getting a new hip or knee is major surgery and recovery takes time. With hard work and a positive outlook, you can get back to being active and enjoying life.

Building your muscle strength before surgery will not only give you more energy before surgery, it will help with your recovery after surgery. To help you get in shape, you may want to try some of these options:

  • YMCA – Live Well in Motion Program for people wanting to improve their health before and after having hip or knee joint replacement surgery.
  • Community gym or pool
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Going for daily walks

Education Class and Pre-op Clinic Visit

You will be asked to attend the hip and knee education class before your joint replacement surgery. The class length is 1-3 hours. You will be notified by your surgeon’s office about this appointment.

In this class you will learn more about your surgery, hospital stay, and preparing for when you are discharged home.

Please come to class with your questions about your hip or knee replacement. If possible, bring the person who will be helping you after surgery to class.

At the class, you will be given a booklet called Your New Hip or Your New Knee. This booklet provides information that will help you prepare for hip or knee replacement surgery and will tell you what to expect when you are in the hospital.

You will also be asked to attend a Pre-Op Clinic visit before your joint replacement surgery. This clinic visit may take up to 3 to 4 hours. You will be notified by your surgeon’s office about this appointment.

Please bring a list of all medications including vitamins, minerals, plus herbal or natural supplements you take at home. If possible, bring your medications in their original containers. You may also have some tests such as an ECG (heart test), an Echocardiogram (images of your heart), blood tests and an x-ray.

After Surgery

What to watch for

Infection: Some bruising, redness and swelling around the staples is normal and does not always mean an infection. Bacteria in your blood can get into your new hip or knee and cause an infection.

Signs of infection are:

  • Increasing redness around the incision (the cut in your skin from surgery)
  • Swelling
  • Drainage from the incision (fluid coming out of the incision)
  • Increased pain
  • Fever above 38°C or 100° F

Dislocation: If your hip or knee cap or moves out of place, you may notice

An increase in pain.

  • A change in where you feel pain in your hip or knee.
  • A change in the shape of your hip or knee.
  • Your hip or knee becomes stuck in one position.
  • You will be unable to bear weight.

If you have any signs of infections or dislocation, contact your surgeon right away. A dislocation or infection must be treated right away.

Dental work or other surgery

Tell your dentist and other doctors that you have had hip replacement surgery. You may need to take medication to prevent an infection in your hip or knee.

Exercises

You must keep doing your exercises on your own at home to strengthen your muscles and get your hip or knee moving well. View the hip exercise booklet and the knee exercise booklet. If you have had a hip replacement, it is important that you follow the Hip Rules listed in Your New Hip booklet.

Team Members

The healthcare team, that will be involved with your care include:

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Physicians
  • Residents
  • Nurses
  • Business clerks
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapy/Occupational therapy assistants
  • Environmental aides
  • Social worker
  • Dietitian
  • Pharmacist