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What to Expect With Your Joint Replacement Surgery

We offer extensive support before, during and after your joint procedure.

At the Henry Ford Center for Joint Replacement, we understand that getting a major surgery such as joint replacement can cause you some concern. From the first meeting with your orthopedic surgeon through your post-operative recovery, our team makes sure you receive comprehensive and compassionate care. We give you everything you need for an optimal outcome, so you can get back to doing the activities you love most—pain free.

Jim's Story

As an active community member, Jim’s quick recovery time after robotic-assisted knee surgery moved him forward down the field.

What happens during my joint replacement surgery prep class?

Our joint replacement prep class helps you and your family understand what to expect before, during and after surgery. We recommend scheduling your prep class as soon as possible after scheduling your surgery and attending two to four weeks before your procedure.

In the class, you will learn about:

  • Exercises you can do before and after surgery
  • The surgery itself
  • What to expect during your hospital visit
  • How you will work with nursing and physical and occupational therapists
  • Any equipment you may need as you recover
  • How you can actively participate as a member of the team to help achieve the very best outcome with your new joint replacement

We also answer any questions you have. The class takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Please plan for additional time if you choose to complete your lab work on the day of class.

Before, during and after your procedure

Here are some common questions people have about joint replacement surgery, but you can also review our other frequently asked questions.

  • What Do I Need to Do Before My Surgery?

    While everyone’s situation is different, here are some steps most people can expect to take before joint replacement surgery:

    • See your primary care provider for medical clearance (labs and EKG), if needed.
    • Get any radiology or imaging exams ordered by your Henry Ford surgeon.
    • Meet with your surgeon to review your current health status and discuss your upcoming procedure.
    • Review your current medication list with your surgeon. You may be advised to stop taking certain medications temporarily several days before your procedure.
    • Review the before surgery, during surgery and after surgery instructions from your Henry Ford care team.

    Remember, it is important to follow the instructions given to you by the hospital, doctor or doctor’s office the night before surgery.

  • How Should I Prepare for the Day of My Surgery?
    • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
    • Arrive at the hospital at the time you were advised.
    • Before your surgery, you will meet with the anesthesiologist and nursing staff.
    • Follow the specific instructions from your care team.
  • What Can I Expect After Surgery?

    Everyone’s journey is unique to their treatment. While most people will go home the same day as their surgery or the next day, the length of stay can vary from person to person.

    Your recovery and rehabilitation process plays a very important role in making your joint replacement surgery as successful as possible. By following the post-operative instructions given to you by your Henry Ford care team, you will ensure that you are back on your feet and can return to your normal activities quickly and safely.

    Depending on your joint replacement surgery, you can expect the following after surgery:

    • Instructions on what you can and cannot do immediately following surgery
    • A follow-up appointment with your surgical team
    • A physical therapy and/or occupational therapy treatment plan
    • Information on any special medical devices or support aids you may need such as slings or braces
  • Why Should I Recover at Home?

    Research shows that people who go home after a surgery or hospital stay recover faster and have better results. Generally, people prefer to recover in their home with their families.

    Other benefits include:

    • Lower out of pocket costs
    • Peace of having own space/bedroom
    • Reduced risk of exposure to illness and less likely to develop infections
    • Company from family/friends and pets
    • Not confined to one room

    Steps to going home

    Planning begins as soon as you get to the hospital. Based on what you need, you’ll receive information about resources (nurse visits, virtual visits, physical therapy) that could be provided at home. This will also be the time to get any questions answered.

    Our goal is to make sure that you:

    • Have a clear plan and know what to do
    • Understand the medicines that you need to take
    • Have the services that you need at home
    • Have the right support at home
  • What Is Your Rapid Recovery Program for Hip and Knee Replacements?

    Our team is constantly updating our protocols and procedures based on research and experience to benefit our patients’ experiences and outcomes. Our rapid recovery program allows people undergoing hip or knee replacements to recover faster with:

    • Pre-surgical preparation: Through education, recovery planning, medical optimization and weight management.
    • Surgical improvements: Including less-invasive surgical techniques, shorter or less-sedating anesthetics, no bladder catheters and multimodal pain management.
    • Same-day discharge and physical therapy: With the above improvements, we can begin physical therapy faster, avoiding a hospital stay.
    • Flexible, patient-centered rehab protocols: These are designed to fit each person’s specific needs, from a fully supervised recovery to a hybrid or fully self-directed rehab plan.
Henry Ford Joint Replacement Guide

Download our Joint Replacement Guide to learn more about our program.

Call for a consultation

Henry Ford Jackson Hospital: (517) 205-1431
Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford Medical Center Cottage: (313) 916-2181
Henry Ford Macomb Hospital: (586) 271-0915
Henry Ford Medical Center – Royal Oak: (248) 546-2110
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital: (313) 916-2181
Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital: (734) 225-9100

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