It’s important to be prepared and as healthy as possible before your surgery. You can do many things to get yourself ready.
Be sure you understand what’s being done and what you’re agreeing to when you sign the consent form for surgery. Read this guide before going to your Hip and Knee Replacement teaching class and write down your questions or concerns. Make sure you understand the risks of surgery.
Eat healthy food: Use
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide to choose the type and amount of food you need for good health.
Healthy eating before surgery will help you:
Improve the health of your blood: You may be asked to join a program to make your blood healthier. Studies show that people with healthy blood before surgery are less likely to need a blood transfusion during surgery, spend less time in the hospital, and recover faster.
Quit (or cut down) smoking: It takes longer to heal when you smoke. If you need help to quit, call 1-866-710-QUIT or go to
www.albertaquits.ca. Note: Smoking is not allowed on hospital property.
Look after health problems before surgery: This especially includes problems with your teeth, eyes, and bladder. Men need to also make sure any problems with their prostate are being managed. Make sure you fill your prescriptions and take them as prescribed.
Get dental work done: You must have any problems with your teeth taken care of at least 6 to 8 weeks before surgery to lower your risk of infection after surgery. Get your teeth cleaned.
Your surgery will be delayed if you’re having problems with your teeth at the time of surgery.
Stay active and do your exercises: Keep doing your regular activities. Begin right away to build strength in your legs, arms, and stomach by doing the
Phase 1 Exercises. Doing these exercises before surgery will help you get moving again after surgery.
Have help when you go home: You’ll likely be in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. Here are some of the ways your support person (buddy, family or friends) can help you once you’re home:
Arrange a ride: You could be released from the hospital at any time of the day so make sure your buddy, family, or a friend can pick you up with little notice.
Arrange care: If someone depends on you for care, arrange for someone else to give the care while you’re recovering.
Get your home ready. Make your home as safe as possible:
Have the heavy housework done ahead of time: Do laundry, vacuuming, and other heavy work around the house before your surgery.
Your doctors and Case Manager will tell you which of your prescription and non-prescription medicine to stop taking before surgery.
Tell your Case Manager before surgery if:
Make sure your healthcare team knows what pain medicine you take before your surgery.
It’s important to use the equipment in the list below to protect your knee and lower your risk of falling after surgery and once you’re home. Have the equipment ready
1 to 2 weeks before surgery so you can practice with it. You may need this equipment below for 3 months after surgery:
You may be able to:
Current as of: May 6, 2019
Author: Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services
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