Post-Operative Instructions for Total Joint Replacement
(You will receive your customized post-op instructions after your surgery.)
Report the following to your surgeon:
- Severe or worsening pain
- Unusual or increasing drainage/bleeding
- Increasing redness at the incision site
- Fever greater than 101
- Persistent nausea/vomiting
- Signs of Blood clots:
- Swelling or pain in calf/leg on either side
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid/unusual heart rate
- Dizziness or confusion
- Increase your activity a little every day. Continue to do your exercises and use your walker, crutches or cane until your doctor tells you to stop. It’s OK to go up and down stairs.
- Change your position every hour while awake. Remember to place a rolled towel under your ankles.
- Eat your meals with your feet dangling down. Sitting in a firm chair that has arms will be easier.
- Go to your physical therapy appointments. Your doctor will tell you when you are allowed to drive.
- Keep the waterproof dressing in place for until your follow-up appointment if your waterproof dressing must be remove. Then change daily with 4x4 gauze or Primapore (bandaid type) dressing.
- You may shower, but NO tub baths, whirlpools, pools or hot tubs.
- Keep incision clean and dry. Do Not apply any creams or ointments to incision area.
- Take your anticoagulant as directed by your physician. (Lovenox, Coumadin, Xarelto or Aspirin)
- If you are on Coumadin make sure to have your blood drawn as prescribed. The dosage you take will depend on your blood results.
- Continue until your doctor tells you to stop.
- If you have problems with bleeding call your doctor.
- Take pain medication as needed. You may take extra strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) for mild pain instead of your prescription medication. (Do not exceed maximum daily dose of 3000 mg)
- Take pain medication 20-30 minutes prior to your physical therapy appointment.
- REMEMBER – Narcotics can be constipating – drink plenty of fluids. Stool softeners/laxatives may be used as needed.
- Call your surgeons office for an appointment (usually 10-14 days after surgery)