Going Home

Going home

The large majority of total joint replacement patients are ready to go directly home after one to two nights. You'll be given written discharge instructions and prescriptions for any medications needed after discharge. This information will be reviewed with you in any questions answered before you leave.

Equipment and After Care Services


The care coordinator will ensure that you have all of the equipment you will need once you are at home. Most typically, this will be a front-wheeled walker and sometimes a commode chair if needed. This equipment can be delivered to your hospital room before you leave or to your home if you prefer. The care coordinator works closely with your insurance company to determine what equipment is covered and what financially responsible you have, if any.

Outpatient Rehabilitation or Home Health Services

The care coordinator will also set up your Aftercare Therapy Services. If you are progressing well and are functioning at a high-level, then outpatient Rehabilitation is a good option for you. In this case, you will go to an outpatient clinic, and should anticipate needing someone to drive you for about 2 weeks.

For some patients who have difficulty getting around or out of the house a Home Health Physician therapist or nurse maybe it appropriate. In this case, they won't come to your residence a few days after your discharge from the hospital. In some cases you may be referred to an outpatient clinic to continue rehab once you no longer qualify for home health.

Incision Care/Showering

Some drainage from your incision is normal and will generally subside within a week or so. The alert for signs of infection, call your surgeon if you have a,

  • Change in color, amount, or odor of drainage
  • Fever greater than 101

Follow the incision care instructions provided by your end and or therapist in the hospital. Some surgeons allow you to shower or get the incision wet sooner, while Others May instruct you to wait longer. Do not use lotions, powders, or Oils on your decision and tell your doctor allows it. Do not take a bath or soak your operated leg.

Staple removal

Your Staples will be remove 10 to 14 days after surgery by the outpatient PT (depending on your clinic), Home Health RN or PT, or pre doctor's instructions

Pain management


Most patients find that initially they take oral medication every 4 to 6 hours as prescribed, and then are able to taper off gradually. It is helpful to time your pain medication before your therapy sessions in before bedtime to ensure you were able to exercise and sleep well. If you feel your pain is not being properly managed, talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or home health nurse.


Pain medications frequently cause constipation. If you experience any abnormal bowel function, constipation or diarrhea, after you return home, please speak with your home health nurse or contact your doctor's office.

Concerns about Addiction

Don't be afraid to take your pain medication. It will be for a limited duration and for a specific purpose. Addiction is rare, less than 1%, and patients taking narcotics to relieve post-operative pain. If you're still having a lot of pain 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, it is important to contact your surgeon.

Swelling Management

Swelling and bruising of the lower extremity are common after surgery. I seen an elevator in your lower extremity periodically throughout the day can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Anti-Coagulant (Blood Thinner)

  • You will continue to use anticoagulation resume at home that was started at the hospital, typically for 4 to 6 weeks. these medications are men to reduce the risk of blood clots which can occur after any surgery. Being active and walking can also reduce this risk.
  • But your surgeon know if you have a sudden increase in swelling inner thigh calf or ankle that does not decrease with elevation.


To protect your joint, you may need to take antibiotics before certain invasive procedures, such as dental care or surgical procedures, even if minor or routine.

Please notify your doctor prior to these procedures to get a prescription for antibiotics, which you will take one day before and one day after the procedure.


You may sleep in any position that is most comfortable for you as long as it falls your positioning guidelines, for hip replacement only. If you sleep on your side, a pillow between your knees is often helpful. I seen before bedtime can also help decrease soreness in your joint and allow you to fall asleep. Do not place a pillow directly behind your operated need for Sleep, a pillow placed lengthwise under your lower calf leg on the opposite side May Provide support without interfering with full knee extension.

Activity Progression

  • You're the one to know how comfortable you are increasing your activity at home. Don't be afraid to use your new joint. If it becomes sore or swollen, simply take rest, ice and Elevate until these symptoms subside.
  • If after weeks you're still not as active as you feel you should be, contact your doctor about continuing or progression of your physical therapy.
  • Eventually, you can expect to resume or activities such as golfing, cycling, hiking, doubles tennis, and garden. Generally heavy impact app activity such as running and jumping.
  • In most cases ¬†Should last a lifetime depending on how you take care of it. Regaining maximum range of motion and strength are important to preserving the life of your joint replacement.

We strive to be the top provider for Orthopedic hair and your feedback is very important to us. You may receive the patient satisfaction survey in the mail and we encourage you to share with us your comments and suggestions.