During your Hospital Stay

During your Hospital Stay

Length of Stay in Acute Hospital

Expect your length of stay in the acute hospital to be 1 to 2 night depending on the surgery you had and your individual recovery.

Preoperative Area

This is where you'll be prepared for surgery including starting an IV, any necessary blood tests or X-rays, and antibiotics. One or two family members are welcome to stay with you while you're in the preoperative area.


Before your surgery, you'll be visited by an anesthesiologist in the preoperative waiting area. Your medical history will be reviewed and the benefits and risks will be discussed with you. We won't answer any anesthesia related questions at that time.

There two types of anesthesia: General, in which you're completely asleep and Regional, in which nerve blocks provide numbness in the lower extremity. These may be used individually or in combination to provide the smoothest and save as possible and aesthetic experience.

Duration of surgery

  • About 30 minutes to 1 hour for a total knee replacement
  • About 1 to 2 hours for total hip replacement

Recovery Room

  • You will typically be in the recovery room for approximately one hour after surgery as special as nurses monitor your vital signs.
  • Your family can stay in the surgical waiting room while you were in the operating room and Recovery Room. They'll be notified by the surgeon wants your surgery is complete, ¬†Either in person or via cell phone if you prefer.
  • Equipment that will be started in the recovery room includes:
  • Oxygen, it to Karen option may be placed in your nose
  • Sequential compression device will be around your lower legs to assist in circulation
  • Catheter, it to may be inserted to empty your bladder of urine
  • Surgical drain, it to may be coming out of your incision to drain excess blood

Pain Management

Our goal to make you as comfortable as possible during your stay in the hospital and thread recovery so you'll be able to move, breathe deeply, and help care for yourself. Some degree of discomfort is unavoidable. Beginning in the recovery room, you will be receiving pain medication on a scheduled basis to help control pain.

Patient controlled analgesia (PCA)

The PCA is a special pump connected to your IV that allows you to self-administer pain medication. The PCA is usually used for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Oral medication

Once you're able to fully eat and drink, you will be transitioned to pain pills. This is typically after the first 24 hours, and you will continue with oral medication once home from the hospital.

Nerve blocks epidurals

In this form of pain management, your doctor maybe decides to inject medication that temporarily numbs the nerves that are around your surgical site.

Important points about pain management

  • You are the Expert on your pain. Make sure you communicate if your pain medication is not working.
  • Pain medication is usually taken regularly. Don't try and be a hero and wait too long, or skip a scheduled dose of pain medication in the day or two after surgery. Remember, the longer you wait to take pain medication, the worse your pain can become, thus taking longer to get under control.

Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. You cannot believe all through pain, but we should be able to reduce it to a tolerable level, usually 4 or less for most people.

Preventing infection

Preventing infection after surgery is very important, and many steps will be taken throughout your Surgical and Hospital stay to minimize the risk of infection.

  • IV antibiotics, antibiotics will be started through your IV within 1 to 2 hours before surgery in continuing up to 24 hours after surgery.
  • Hand hygiene, your caregivers will use gloves with any Hands-On procedures, and the frequent use of sanitizing gel located by the door of each patient room is strongly encouraged for visitors and yourself.
  • Don't hesitate to ask your Healthcare team to perform hand hygiene before working with you.

Your stay in the surgical unit

Diet and Nutrition

  • Starting with ice chips, your diet will progress to clear liquids than normal meals, as tolerated.
  • Please call nutrition services if you have any preferences or special needs.

Activities and Rehabilitation

After your joint replacement surgery, your caregivers will encourage you to be as active as possible. Remember, you're not in the hospital because you were sick. We want to help you maximize the function and recovery of your new joint. Also, early Mobility reduces the risk of post-surgical complications.

  • You can expect to receive therapy daily, in most cases start in the very same day as your surgery. Having your pain well under control will enable you to make the most out of your therapy session.
  • We encourage you to get out of bed to use the bathroom right I'm using the bedpan. You to the nurse or the therapist can assist you.
  • You should expect to sit up in a chair for your meals.

Medication and constipation

Pain medication frequently causes constipation. Please let your nurses know if you were constipated. Their various remedies to maintain proper bowel function.