The first call you will receive from us will be to set up a pre-operative educational class held at Artesia General Hospital. It will be taught by our Joint Care Coordinator, who will then be your contact for any questions or issues you might have. The class is held two to four weeks prior to your surgery, and we will have you fill out an assessment form. This form will let us know about your health information and your home setting situation so we can begin the process of providing you with the personal care you deserve. The class will teach you exercises you can begin before surgery that will lead to a smoother transition after surgery. You will learn all you need to know to prepare yourself and your home for your recovery.
In addition, you will have an appointment with a pre-admission testing nurse. At this appointment, you will be pre-admitted for your surgery, relieving you of one less worry on the day of your surgery. We will also identify and complete any needed pre-op labs, x-rays or further testing your surgeon may need approximately two to three weeks before your surgery.
Day of Surgery – Before Surgery
You will go to Admitting, where the operating staff will be notified that you have arrived. You will then be escorted to a small pre-op room in the Operating Room area where we will review your information with you and prepare you for surgery. We will show your loved ones to our waiting area when they take you back for surgery.
Day of Surgery – After Surgery
You will be greeted by your Joint Care Coordinator shortly after your arrival at the designated Joint Center rooms of our Medical/Surgical In-patient area. Expect to be able to sit at the edge of the bed, dangle your legs, stand at your bedside, and even walk in the hall.
Post-op Day 1
By 8:00 a.m., you will be helped out of bed, bathed, dressed and seated in a recliner in your room to eat breakfast. Physical and occupational therapists will begin working with you after breakfast to get you up and moving. Intravenous (IV) pain medication will likely be stopped and you may begin oral pain medication. Group therapy begins in the afternoon with your coach alongside to learn the exercises as well. Visitors are welcome, preferably during the late afternoons and evenings.
Post-op Day 2
Your day will begin about the same, with your occupational therapist teaching you the safest and most effective way to shower and dress yourself. You will have group therapy at 9:30 a.m., then a short break until our group lunch at noon with your coach and other joint replacement patients. After lunch is your group discharge class, followed by another group therapy session for you and your coach. Expect to go home after your afternoon group therapy session. Any stay longer than three days is generally related to medical issues only.
Your care team will work with you and your family to build a personalized discharge plan. Most patients are able to recover in the comfort of their own homes and will continue therapy at an outpatient physical therapy facility three days a week. You will continue your exercises at home that you learned during your hospital stay. These will need to be done twice a day every day. Other patients will continue their rehabilitation at a skilled nursing or short-term rehab facility where their medical needs can be monitored. Your Joint Care Coordinator helps make all transitions before, during and after surgery run smoothly for a better outcome.