Discharge From the Center:
Most patients go home between 4-6 hours after discharge criteria is met. A 23 hour stay is available for those patients medically required to stay longer. Physical therapy will be arranged for you through your physician’s office. Physician therapy may be performed by a Home Care Provider for patients who require in home treatment.
Prior to Going Home:
You will be given detailed instructions for your care at home and what to expect, as well as phone numbers to call if needed. Please call your surgeon’s office if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed in the instructions. We don’t want you to worry and wonder at home.
A nurse from our surgery center will contact you the following day to see how you are doing and answer any questions.
Your first post-operative visit to your surgeon’s office will generally occur about 2 weeks after your procedure. This appointment will be scheduled prior to surgery. Your second office visit will be determined by your surgeon and the progress you have made in physical therapy.
What to Expect the Day After Surgery
Showering: You may shower the day after surgery with antibacterial soap. You may not take a bath until 1 month after surgery.
Climbing stairs (for hip, knee or ankle surgery): When climbing stairs, go up using your good leg first; go down with your bad leg first. Please make sure to hold on to a railing when using stairs.
Sitting: Use chairs that have arms, backs and firm seats. You need the arms to help lift yourself out of the chair. Avoid low stools, low chairs or low toilets.
If you are sitting in one spot for more than 30 minutes you should do the following exercises to maintain good circulation:
- Heel Raises – Sit with feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Lift heels so that only toes and the balls of the feet are on the floor. Hold for 5-10 seconds and lower feet back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
- Toe Lifts – Sit with feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Lift toes and balls of the feet so that only the heels are on the floor. Hold for 5-10 seconds and lower feet back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
- Ankle Circles – While sitting, lift right leg slightly off the ground and rotate the foot clockwise, making a circle in the air. Do this 15 times clockwise, then 15 times counterclockwise. Repeat with left leg and foot.
Walking: You will begin walking the day of surgery. Each day, the distance you walk will be increased. You will learn how to walk to the bathroom, in the hallway, and climb stairs. Always use your walker or crutches and avoid over-exertion. DO NOT walk on uneven surfaces such as lawns or gravel. It is important to follow directions from your physical therapist. Physical therapy will teach you how to transfer out of bed. You may be weight bearing, as tolerated.
We recommend that you avoid extreme positions of your joint following surgery. Please discuss any limitations on specific movements with your surgeon prior to surgery. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your surgeon after your surgery.