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Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Once you’ve decided to have joint replacement surgery, you can start to prepare for the best possible experience and outcome. The orthopedic staff at Cape Cod Healthcare is here to help you every step of the way.

Emphasis on Education

The more you know about your orthopedic surgery, the more likely you are to have optimal results. The Total Joint Center at Cape Cod Healthcare places a high priority on making sure you and your family are well-informed throughout the process. Our innovative patient education program includes:

  • Free community seminars to learn about joint replacement surgery
  • Videos/DVDs that explain procedures
  • Total Joint Replacement classes
  • Wall displays and other printed materials that answer frequently-asked questions
  • Patient Pre-operative Education classes and guide booklets (see below)
  • Hip or knee replacement newsletters
  • HomeWork® kits with exercises and advice after discharge
  • Special meal selections

Pre-Operative Education

Prior to surgery you’ll be required to attend a 90-minute joint replacement Pre-Operative Education class. There you’ll receive a Total Joint Replacement Pre-operative Education Guide containing everything you need to know about the surgery process and how to prepare, including information on:

  • Discharge and rehab planning and resources
  • Insurance coverage
  • Massachusetts health care proxy
  • Hospital accommodations
  • Pain management
  • Food and nutrition services
  • CCHC Fall Prevention program
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Preparing your home for your return
  • Wound care and infection prevention

You can also access the guides here:

Total Joint Replacement Pre-Operative Education Guide – Cape Cod Hospital
Total Joint Replacement Pre-Operative Education Guide – Falmouth Hospital

What You Can Do Before Surgery

  • Try to quit smoking at least three to five days before surgery. This will decrease your chances of lung problems and help speed your recovery. Smoking is not allowed in the hospital.
  • Eat healthfully. The better you eat before surgery, the better you’ll feel after surgery.
  • Get regular exercise. This helps prepare your body for the stress of surgery and the road to recovery.

Pre-Admission Testing

Your doctor will schedule an appointment for you to complete the medical tests and nursing assessments you’ll need prior to surgery. This appointment will take about one hour and should occur two weeks before surgery. You’ll receive information about what medications to discontinue before surgery.

The Day of Surgery

You’ll receive a phone call from the Pre-Admission Assessment and Testing nurse the day before your surgery. The nurse will tell you what time to arrive at the hospital (generally 1-1/2 hours before surgery).

Learn what to bring to the hospital and what not to bring in the Pre-Operative Education Guides listed above.

Joint replacement surgery typically takes two to three hours for a single joint, followed by time in the recovery room. Family members and friends are welcome to wait for you during surgery. Once you are transferred to the recovery room, the surgeon will talk with them about your surgery and tell them when they can join you.

Discharge Planning

All patients having joint replacement surgery should expect some type of rehabilitation after discharge from the hospital. Some patients can go directly home and receive therapy from a certified healthcare agency or at an outpatient rehab facility. Others may require inpatient rehab. Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about what type of rehab to plan for and discuss options for care. A Cape Cod Healthcare case manager is available to help you with your discharge planning.

Learn more about orthopedic rehabilitation services at Cape Cod Healthcare.

Questions About Your Surgery?

Call our Access Line at 877-CAPECOD or email us today.

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