Urgent Care

If you are experiencing an urgent need for care due to a traumatic injury, please go to the Emergency Department of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Orthopaedic surgeons from our clinic are on call at the hospital for emergency orthopaedic needs.

Preparing For Surgery

With joint replacement surgery, you will be required to stay at the hospital for approximately X days. On the first day you will be admitted, have your surgery, and then be put into a bed in an “inpatient” unit to begin your recovery. During your initial appointment at Nanaimo Orthopaedics, the physician will have told you what type of surgery you will be having.

Approximately 1 week prior to surgery, Nanaimo Orthopaedics will contact you to remind you of your appointment. It is important that you confirm your surgery with us. If you do not confirm, there is a possibility that your surgery may be cancelled.

The Pre-Admission clinic will call you the day before your surgery (mid to late afternoon) to inform you when you need to come to the hospital. Keep in mind that it could be as early as 6:15 am.

Instructions to prepare you for your surgery


  • Take all prescription medications as usual unless told not to by your anesthesiologist, surgeon, pre-admission nurse or other specialist. You may take all allowed medications with 30 ml (1 ounce) of water per pill up to one hour before surgery.
  • If you take any of the following medications, you must get specific instructions from your surgeon, anesthesiologist or specialist at least 14 days before surgery:
    • o Diabetes medication e.g. chlorpropamide, glyburide, metformin, insulin
    • Blood thinners e.g. Coumadin (warfarin), Heparin
    • Antiplatelet medications e.g. clopidogrel (Plavix), Ticlid, Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, Aspirin)
    • Blood pressure medication
    • Non-steroidal ant-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medications e.g. Motrin, Advil, Naprosyn, Torodal, Celebrex
  • 7 days before surgery, stop taking Vitamin E and all natural health products including herbal remedies e.g. Garlic, Gingko, Kava, St. John Wort, Ginseng, Dong Quai, Glucosamine, Papaya, etc.
  • Do not take regular vitamins and iron supplements on the day of your surgery. You can take them until the day before surgery.
  • Acetaminophen e.g. Tylenol may be taken for pain when necessary up to and including the day of surgery

Eating and drinking before surgery: your stomach needs to be as empty as possible. This helps prevent vomiting that could cause choking or stomach contents going into your lungs during surgery. Your surgery will be postponed if you do not follow food and fluid (fasting) instructions.

NO SOLID FOOD after midnight the night before surgery including chewing gum or hard candies.

NONE of the following FLUIDS after midnight the night before surgery: Milk, non- dairy creamer, protein beverages, dairy beverages, tomato or orange juice with pulp, or alcoholic beverages.

It is very important to continue to drink CLEAR fluids until bedtime. This will keep you from getting dehydrated. Clear fluids are allowed until 3 hours before your surgery time. Clear fluids allowed include: water, clear tea, black coffee, fruit juice with NO pulp (apple juice, cranberry juice), carbonated beverages, popsicles, and jell-o.

You may brush your teeth the morning of your surgery.

What to Bring to the Hospital

  • Your BC Care Card or proof of substitute Medical Insurance Plan. If you do not have these, bring another form of personal ID
  • An interpreter, if you do not understand English
  • Reading material, glasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, and dentures with storage cases labeled with your name
  • CPAP, bi-level machines or dental device if you use one for sleep
  • If required, a shoulder brace is to be brought in BEFORE your surgery.
  • Any crutches, cane, braces, or walker that you have been told by your surgeon that you will need, labeled with your name, AFTER your surgery.
  • Loose fitting clothing that is easy to get off and on and low heeled, sturdy shoes.

What NOT to bring or wear

  • Jewelry or body piercing items. Have custom piercings and tight fitting rings professionally removed before coming to the hospital.
  • Personal items such as credit cards, MP3 players, tablets, or computers.
  • Cash in excess of $20
  • Do not wear make-up, false eyelashes, scented perfume or aftershave, hairpins, deodorant or talcum powder. It is OK to wear face cream or acrylic nails
  • If you are having surgery to an arm or leg, nail polish must be removed from that limb. Otherwise, nail polish is okay, although it is best to avoid dark coloured or metallic polish.

Getting Ready & Recovering From Knee Surgery PDF

Getting Ready & Recovering From Hip Surgery PDF