• Total Knee Replacement

  • Partial Knee Replacement

  • Total Hip Replacement

  • Revision Hip Replacement

  • Revision Knee Replacement

What to Expect After Surgery

General

  • Bruising and swelling
    • You will have mild bruising and swelling initially. This may start at the surgical site but can track up or down your leg.
    • This is normal after surgery and the extent will vary from person to person.
    • This will typically increase over the 1st two weeks after surgery.
    • Expect swelling in your entire leg, including your foot
  • You may feel very stiff and tight in your surgical leg.
  • You will feel tired and your energy level will be decreased after surgery.

Wound Care (see “Surgical Dressing Instructions”)

  • Keep your surgical bandage intact for the first week following surgery.
    • You may shower with the bandage on, but NO BATHS!
    • Pat dressing dry gently when finished.
  • Often times your physical therapist or home care nurse will remove your surgical bandage for you.
    • This should be removed 1 week after surgery.
    • If they do not, you may do so 1 week following surgery.
  • You may have a mesh dressing (Prineo) underneath the outer dressing.
    • Take care removing the outer dressing and do not disrupt the mesh underneath.
    • This mesh is also waterproof and you can shower with it on.
    • Typically the mesh stays on for 3-4 weeks after surgery
      • This may be removed at 3 weeks during your clinic visit, or may remain on for a total of 4 weeks as needed
  • If you have skin adhesive over your incision, do not soak or scrub off rather allow this to come off on its own.

Medications

  • Most patients will need some type of pain management until about 2-4 weeks post-op.
    • If you need additional pain medications, please call the office and allow a 24 hour notice for your prescription to be ready for pick up
    • Most pain medication cannot be called into the pharmacy, so please arrange for pick up at the office.
    • If you are reaching your global post-op period of 90 days and still find that you need pain medications, we may refer you to a pain management clinic for further follow up.
  • Continue your anti-coagulant medications as instructed.

Activity

  • Limit activity to your home during your first week following surgery.
  • You may continue icing and elevating as instructed.
  • Continue wearing your compression stockings for the first 48 hours, removing at night time.
  • Minimize your activities and limit physical activity to your home exercises to help minimize swelling.
  • You may continue to use your walker, crutches or cane for 2-4 weeks until you can walk without a limp.
  • No driving while taking pain medications.
    • You may usually begin driving in 1-2 weeks for the left leg and 2-4 weeks for the right leg.

Follow-up: First Postoperative Visit

  • You should be seen in the office about 3 weeks postoperatively for your scheduled appointment, unless instructed otherwise.
  • At this visit, we will evaluate your wound, as well as take x-rays.
  • We will make sure incision has healed appropriately.
  • Additional instructions regarding activity will be discussed.
  • Additional follow-up visits will be coordinated at this appointment as needed.

Diet and Rest

  • Eat a healthy diet to promote healing.
  • You may experience a decreased appetite after surgery. This is normal and should gradually resolve itself.
  • Take rest breaks as needed during the day and get a good night's sleep to support the healing process.
  • It is common to have difficulty sleeping after surgery. This will gradually improve.
  • You may sleep on your back or on your side with a pillow between your legs for comfort.

Physical Therapy

  • Typically, outpatient physical therapy will start one week after surgery.
  • You should have set this up in advance but if there are any concerns please contact us
  • Physical therapy will be scheduled for approximately 2-3 times a week and last an average of 6-8 weeks.

Return to Work

  • Your ability to return to work will largely depend on the type of work you do (desk job, laborer, etc.).
  • Everyone will be slightly different and estimations may vary based on comfort and progression after surgery but in general:
    • Desk job: with minimal swelling ~3-5days
    • Standing Job: 2-4 weeks
    • Hard labor: 6-8 weeks

Credibility Links

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
  • Michigan Institute for Advanced Surgery Center