Properly preparing for total hip replacement surgery includes doing some paperwork, considering some important medical issues and getting your home ready for your return after hip surgery. Here’s what you need to know to complete step two.
Pre-register with the hospital or surgery center
In most hospitals and surgery centers you will need to pre-register with the facility prior to your surgery day. An appointment will be made for you. Plan about one hour for this visit. Usually there are hospital volunteers at the information desk to assist you in finding the admitting area.
At this visit you will be providing personal information to the hospital / surgery center which is needed to provide appropriate service during your stay. In addition, you will be contacted by a pre-admissions nurse who will review your medical history and medication so that this info is appropriately listed on your medical record.
Please have the following information available when you pre-register:
- Your insurance card
- Photo I.D.
- Advance Directives, and Living Will if you have one
- List of all medications and the correct dosages of these meds
Important medication issues
Start taking an Iron supplement, 325 mg per day, prior to surgery. This is to build up your blood count. This can be obtained at your local pharmacy without a prescription. Please NOTE: Iron supplements will make your stools very dark and may cause constipation.
Discontinue the use of aspirin, aspirin-like products, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, vitamins (except for Iron 325 mg), and herbal supplements one week prior to your surgery.
If you are on a blood thinner such as Coumadin or platelet inhibitor like Plavix or aspirin, please let our office know so appropriate arrangements can be made prior to surgery which usually involves stopping this medication 5 days before the planned surgery. Many patients are on long-term Coumadin and Plavix and stopping it requires a certain level of planning by the medical team.
Please do not take your usual morning prescription medications on the morning of your surgery unless instructed by your medical clearance physician and then only take the medication with a small sip of water.
Medical clearance exam
A very important part of preparing for your hip surgery is the medical exam and laboratory results to be done by your family doctor or a trusted physician known by your surgeon. By having your current medical situation well documented and well understood, you have the best chance of avoiding complicating events either during or shortly after surgery.
Your medical doctor will let you know which of your medications can be stopped just prior to surgery and which ones you will need to take.
This medical exam is extremely important and must not be cancelled. Without pre-operative medical clearance, Dr. Zehr will not perform the surgery.
- Please remember to check with the medical clearance physician for special instructions on medications that you take routinely, such as heart medications, Insulin, Coumadin, Plavix, etc.
Prepare your home for your return from the hospital
Have your house ready for your arrival back home. Clean your home beforehand, do the laundry and put it away. Put clean linens on the bed. Prepare meals and freeze them in single serving containers. Cut the grass, and tend to the garden and other yard work as it will be some time before you will be ready for this activity.
Pick up throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting. Remove electrical cords and other obstructions from walkways. Install nightlights in bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways. Arrange to have someone collect your mail and take care of pets or loved ones, if necessary.
Most hip surgery patients return home using a walker for about one week. A walker is usually provided by a physical therapist that comes to your home for 7-10 days to re-train you in walking with your new hip and teach you the proper method to sit, get out of a chair, and to move about your home. The fewer obstacles that you have to avoid, the easier will be your therapy.
For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com. The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments, or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this topic.