Be as healthy as possible. Eat healthy foods, drink lots of fluids, and get plenty of rest and exercise. Use Canada's Food Guide to choose the type and amount of food you need for good health. Healthy eating before surgery will help you:
Look after health problems before surgery. This especially includes problems with your teeth and eyesight, with the prostate (a male gland), and with the urinary tract, which enables you to urinate. Have prescriptions for medications refilled.
Get dental work done. You must have any problems with your teeth taken care of before surgery. This will reduce the risk of infection after surgery. Get your teeth cleaned. Make sure all the work that must be done on your teeth is completed. Your surgery will be delayed if this is not done.
Find a buddy. Your buddy will be your main support helping with the many things that must be done before and after surgery and while you are in the hospital. Your Case Manager at the Hip and Knee Replacement Clinic will ask for the name of your buddy.
Arrange for support after surgery. You will most likely be in the hospital 2 to 3 days. Talk to your buddy and other friends or family members about your surgery and explain how they can help once you return home. Some of the ways they can help you are:
If someone depends on you for care, arrange for someone else to give the care while you are recovering.
Quit (or cut down on) smoking. It will take longer to heal if you smoke. If you need help to quit smoking, go to Alberta Quits. Note: You will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on hospital property.
Get your home ready for your recovery. Make it as easy and safe as possible to get around your home after surgery by doing some simple things ahead of time:
Get heavy housework done ahead of time. Do laundry, vacuuming and other heavy work around the house before your surgery.
Plan for your food needs. Stock up on groceries and make frozen meals.
Arrange your transportation. You could be released from the hospital at any time of the day. Make plans to have your buddy available to pick you up at any time.
Improve the health of your blood. You may be asked to join a program to make your blood healthier. Studies show that patients with healthy blood before surgery are less likely to need donated blood during surgery, spend less time in the hospital, and recover more quickly.
Stay active and do your exercises. Continue to do all your regular activities. Begin right away to build strength in your legs, arms and stomach by doing simple exercises. Doing these exercises before your surgery will help you get moving again after surgery.
Ask questions. Be sure you understand what will be done and what you are agreeing to when you sign the form for surgery. Read your guide before going to your Hip and Knee Replacement teaching class and write down your questions or concerns. Review the risks of surgery.
Your surgeon and Case Manager will tell you which of your prescription and non-prescription medications to stop taking before surgery.
Tell your Case Manager before your surgery if:
It is very important that you:
For more information, see: Knee Replacement Surgery
Last Revised: January 31, 2013
Author: Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
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