Your Recovery From Surgery
Immediately after your surgery you will be transferred to the recovery room for monitoring. You will be in the recovery room for approximately 2 hours as you wake up from your surgery. After this time if your procedure requires you to stay in the hospital overnight, you will be transferred to your hospital room. If you are to be discharged that day, you will be transferred to the day surgery recovery unit.
While you are in the hospital, you will be provided with the appropriate medication and care needed for your recovery. In the early post-operative period following a joint replacement surgery, your active involvement is necessary for a quick and successful recovery.
There will be a sterile dressing over your surgical wound. Your wound dressing will be changed regularly and removed about a week after surgery. Depending on the suture material used, the sutures may either be removed or left in to be gradually absorbed. You need to keep your wound clean and dry. Wait 3-4 days and check the incision. If it is dry you may shower like normal. If it is still weeping or draining wait another day.
Upon being discharged from the hospital, your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to ensure your comfort after surgery. If your surgery requires implants, you will be prescribed antibiotics to protect you from infection. You may also receive a blood thinner for 2-3 weeks to reduce the risk of clot formation after your surgery.
If you had general surgery under anesthesia or intravenous (IV) sedation, you will be considered impaired for up to 24 hours after surgery and should NOT:
- Make important decisions or sign documents
- Drive a car or work machinery
- Do any dangerous activities like bike riding, swimming or climbing ladders
- Travel alone by public transportation e.g. bus, taxi
- Go to work or do business
- Drink alcohol
- Take tranquilizers, sedatives, or sleeping pills
- Have primary responsibility for care of another individual e.g. babies, small children, frail elderly
Movement is important to your recovery! You are encouraged to be active after your surgery. Your physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to enhance your recovery and restore your range of motion. You will also be advised on a home exercise program after your discharge from the hospital.
You will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to check on your progress after your discharge. This appointment is typically two weeks after your surgery. During your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will determine whether another follow-up examination is required.
If there are any questions or concerns with your recovery, please contact Nanaimo Orthopaedics: (250) 555-1212.
Getting Ready & Recovering From Knee Surgery PDF