Frequently Asked Questions
Q.How long will my surgery last?
A. Surgery normally lasts one to two hours. Time often depends on your needs and anesthesia. You may also be in the recovery room one to two hours post-surgery.
Q. What are the major risks?
A. Infection and blood clots are two serious complications. To help avoid these complications, your surgeon will use antibiotics and blood thinners during and after surgery. Surgeons also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infection. Most surgeries are without complications.
Q. When can I get up?
A. You are encouraged to get up the day of surgery with the help of your physical therapist.
Q. When can I shower?
A. You can shower the day after surgery with assistance, as ordered by your surgeon.
Q. Will the surgery be painful?
A. You will have discomfort following the surgery, but we will try to keep you as comfortable as possible with pain medicine, proper positioning, and ice.
Q. How long will I be in the hospital?
A. Most patients spend one day in the hospital. Typically home health PT is set up at discharge.
Q. What if I live alone? Will I need help at home?
A. Please arrange to have help from family or friends after surgery. If you qualify, a home health PT will see you at home as prescribed by your surgeon. Your preparation before surgery can often minimize the amount of help needed afterwards. Take time to do your laundry, put clean linens on the bed, prepare simple meals, and have the house cleaned.
Q. Will I need a walker or cane?
A. Hip and knee replacement patients will need a walker and will progress to a cane as your functional status allows.
Q. Will I need special equipment after a joint replacement?
A. Hip replacement patients may need an elevated toilet seat, tub transfer bench, grab bars, and other adaptive equipment to use at home.
Q. Can I drive after surgery?
A. No, you cannot drive immediately after surgery or while you are taking pain medicine. Your physician will advise you at your two-week visit on when to begin driving.
Q. When can I return to work?
A. Typically four to six weeks are needed to recover from surgery. It can also depend on your job demands.
Q. When can I play sports again?
A. Low impact activities are encouraged after surgery. These include walking, golfing, swimming, bowling, gardening, dancing, and biking. High impact activities like running and basketball are discouraged. Consult with your surgeon for specific instructions regarding your activity level.
Q. When can I have sex after hip replacement surgery?
A. Sex is not recommended immediately after surgery. When comfortable, sexual activity can often resume safely. For hip replacement, remember to follow your hip precautions to prevent dislocation.
Q. Will my new joint set off security sensors when traveling?
A. Your joint replacement is made of a metal alloy and may or may not be detected when going through security devices. Your surgeon’s office can give you a card that indicates you have a surgical prosthesis which may set off a security sensor.