You're ready for a knee or hip replacement. Now what?
Congratulations! You’ve consulted your physician, done your research and are ready to pursue knee or hip replacement. By getting to this point, you’ve taken the first step toward an improved quality of life. There are a handful of steps you’ll need to take at this point, and we’re here to walk you through them. Let’s dive in!
Pre-op Evaluation First, Dr. Hinton will provide you with a letter that you will bring to your family doctor. This letter states that you are planning on having the surgery and will include what pre-op labs and tests Dr. Hinton will require prior to surgery. Then, your family doctor will order those tests and any other testing that he or she may feel is needed for proper pre-op evaluation. Your family doctor will do a physical and evaluate the labs, then, if appropriate, will give you a note stating that your health has been validated and you’re medically ready to proceed with the surgery.
Scheduling & Consent Then, you’ll need to bring that note from your family physician to Dr. Hinton's office, at which time you and Dr. Hinton will choose a date for the surgery that works with your schedule. One week prior to the surgery, you will meet with Dr. Hinton to finalize plans. At this meeting, you will sign a consent form that gives Dr. Hinton permission to do the surgery. We recommend bringing a family member with you to this meeting. Loved ones always ask good questions, and having someone else hear all the details allows you and your family to feel comfortable with the procedure.
Anesthesia After the pre-op meeting, you will need to go to the hospital to register and meet with the anesthesia personnel. For hip and knee surgery, we prefer spinal anesthesia and nerve blocks rather than general anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia allows for a much faster recovery, less pain, and less risk of complications. You’ll be able to relax and fall asleep during the procedure under spinal anesthesia, as opposed to being put to sleep, which involves being paralyzed and requires a ventilator as well as a breathing tube. At your meeting with the anesthesia personnel, you’ll be given a special infection-preventing soap (hibiclens) to wash your body with prior to surgery .
IMPORTANT: DO NOT eat or drink after midnight prior to the surgery, or it will be cancelled!
Day of Surgery You’ll be asked to arrive to the hospital around 6:00am the morning of the surgery, and the entire surgery will take about an hour to complete. Afterwards, Dr. Hinton will discuss the outcome with your family present. You will be transferred to the recovery room, where you’ll be monitored for one to two hours before being brought to your hospital room.
Physical Therapy Contrary to what many people think, therapy actually begins the day of your surgery. Your therapist will stand you up and walk you around so that you can begin to get used to your new knee or hip. Therapy continues the day after surgery, and most patients either leave the day after surgery or the following day. Once you leave, therapy continues daily at home with Home Health. Upon discharge, you will see Dr. Hinton three weeks after the surgery, where he will check in on you to see how you’re feeling and getting around.
That’s the process in a nutshell! If you have any questions about how this process works or why we take certain steps, please feel free to email us at email@example.com or give us a call at (337) 477-5252.