- Incision care
Dressings must be kept clean and dry. You may shower, being careful to keep the dressing dry. If the bandage becomes loose, soiled, or wet, replace it immediately with a clean bandage. Your incision should stay clean, dry and covered until your first post-operative visit. You may not take a bath or go swimming until the incision is completely healed.
- Relieving pain
It is normal to have some pain after surgery. Pain medications have been prescribed and enough pain pills have been given to cover you beyond your next office visit. It should be noted that pain medications take about one-half hour to start working, so take them prior to the pain becoming severe. DO NOT drink alcohol while taking prescribed pain medication. If you need a refill on pain medication before your first scheduled appointment, please call our office during regular office hours.
- Lovenox injections
You will need to complete the entire prescription of Lovenox injections you have been given to prevent the development of a blood clot. Do not discontinue the prescription unless you have contacted our office first.
You may be given a prescription for Indocin after your total joint replacement. You must complete the prescription given; however, no additional refills will be authorized. The purpose of this medication is to prevent excessive bone formation after joint replacement.
- TED hose
We recommend that you wear them for approximately four weeks after your surgery. The purpose of these stockings is to prevent blood from pooling in your legs and subsequently developing a blood clot. You may remove them when you shower, but they need to be worn at night while sleeping or during periods of inactivity.
You may not drive until after your first post-operative visit.
Typically, with adequate protein intake for promotion of healing, there are no special diet restrictions. Make sure you eat a well-balanced meal, drink plenty of fluids and incorporate fiber into your diet as oral pain medications have a tendency to cause constipation. It is also a good idea to take a stool softener such as Colace or Citrucal daily until your system gets regulated after surgery.
For the first few weeks after surgery, walk as much as possible without overdoing it. Let pain be a guide as to how often and for how long. Take it easy and try not to overdo it keeping in mind that you just had surgery. After the initial post-operative phase, we will gradually progress your activities. However, initially, it is extremely important that you exercise your new joint by walking.
- Dental Work after Joint Replacement
Because you have an artificial joint, your risk of contracting a blood-borne infection is higher than normal. Preventative treatment is extremely important and should be followed prior to receiving any dental treatment. Please call us, or your dentist ahead of time so that an antibiotic can be prescribed before you have your dental work done. You may not have dental work performed for 6 months following your joint replacement due to the increased risk of infection. if a dental crisis occurs within this time period, please call our office for instructions.
- Post-operative appointment
Please call our office for a post-operative appointment approximately two weeks after your surgery.
Call the office immediately if you notice any of the following
- Circulation problems: the toes of the affected extremity present color changes (blue or white) with no pink color at all
- Fever above 101.5° Fahrenheit
- Persistent swelling, redness, or uncontrolled pain in the surgical area
- Increased bleeding, drainage, or foul odor from the wound
- Severe calf pain or tenderness
Call 911 if you have a sudden crisis such as symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, dizziness or confusion, or chest discomfort or pain.