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FAQs

Total Knee Replacement FAQ’s :: Total Hip Replacement FAQ’s

Total Knee Replacement FAQ’s

What equipment will I need at home and how do I get it?

A walker and cane will be needed.

Does anyone come to my home after being discharged?

A home visiting nurse may be arranged to come in to your home as well as a home physical therapist for the first 2 weeks.

When do my staples get removed?

2 weeks.

Can I apply lotions/creams to the surgical site?

Do not apply lotions or creams to the surgical site until 4 weeks after surgery.

When can I drive?

At 2 weeks you may be allowed to drive. However, you must be off pain medications and should practice off the road prior to driving. In addition, you should feel comfortable initiating driving.

When can I swim?

Swimming may resume 4 weeks after surgery when your incision is well healed.

How long will I be out of work?

Resuming work is dependent on the type of occupation you have.

Patients with sedentary jobs may be able to return 2 weeks after surgery.

Patients with a physically demanding occupation may be able to return 6-12 weeks after surgery.

When may I resume sexual activity?

Sexual activity may resume as soon as you feel comfortable.

Is it normal to have numbness around the surgical incision?

Yes, some patients will experience numbness or decreased sensation to the skin near the scar that will likely improve over time.

How long after surgery will I need antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental work?

You will need to take antibiotics 1 hour prior to any dental work for the first two years after your total hip replacement. We ask that no dental work be done for the first 3 months after knee surgery.

Will I need a transfusion?

Blood loss is typically low. Transfusion rate is less than one percent. As such, we do not require pre-op blood donation.

Will I need therapy?

A physical therapist will work with you prior to discharge, teaching you to properly walk with a walker and stair climbing. You will also be taught exercises to be done at home. A physical therapist will come to your home to help with exercise and gait training as needed for the first two weeks. Outpatient physical therapy will be started after the 2 week office visit and should include 2-3 sessions a weeks for 6-10 weeks.

Do I have to worry about blood clots?

DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a risk of knee replacement. After surgery you will be Aspirin for a total of 6 weeks after surgery. If you have a high risk of DVT by history you may be placed on Coumadin.

How do I get home or to the rehabilitation hospital?

Patients going home should let their family/friends know that they can be picked up the day of their discharge. Transportation to rehabilitation facilities will be discussed and can be arranged by a member of the case management staff.

Total Hip Replacement FAQ’s

What equipment will I need at home and how do I get it?

A prescription for a walker and cane will be provided at the pre-operative visit.

Does anyone come to my home after being discharged?

In some cases a home physical therapist may come in for the first 2 weeks after surgery.

When do my staples get removed?

Staples are removed 10-14 days from your surgery.

Can I apply lotions/creams to the surgical site?

Do not apply lotions or creams to the surgical site until 4 weeks post-op.

When can I shower?

You may shower right after surgery. A special water repellent surgical dressing (Aquacel) is placed at the time of surgery that is to be left on until your post-operative visit.

No bathing or submerging your hip for approximately 4 weeks after surgery when your incision is well healed.

When can I drive?

At 2 weeks you may be allowed to drive. However, you must be off pain medications and should practice off the road prior to driving. In addition, you should feel comfortable initiating driving.

When can I swim?

Swimming may resume 4 weeks after surgery when your incision is well healed.

How long will I be out of work?

Resuming work is dependant on the type of occupation you have.

Patients with sedentary jobs may be able to return 1-2 weeks after surgery.

Patients with a physically demanding occupation may be able to return 4-6 weeks after surgery.

When may I resume sexual activity?

Sexual activity may resume as soon as you feel comfortable.

Is it normal to have numbness around the surgical incision?

Yes, some patients will experience numbness or decreased sensation to the skin near the scar that will likely improve over time.

Is it normal to feel like one leg is longer than the other after hip surgery?

Yes, some patients have had years of tightened muscles and loss of joint space and perceive the new hip to be longer. The goal of surgery is to restore equal leg lengths. Your body may take time to adjust to the restored space and implant, the muscle strengthening that occurs during rehabilitation, and your return to a more normal gait pattern.

How long after surgery will I need antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental work?

You will need to take antibiotics 1 hour prior to any dental work for the first two years after your total hip replacement. We ask that no dental work be done for the first 12 weeks after hip surgery.

Am I a candidate for minimally invasive anterolateral total hip replacement surgery?

The procedure can benefit almost anyone needing a hip replacement, young or old, healthy or sick. Only patients with significant deformities or previous surgeries may not be candidates.

What are the long term benefits?

These are being studied. My experience, along with my partners that perform this procedure is that the risk of dislocation is significantly reduced with no restrictions in motion. In addition, there is a benefit with this procedure of improved accuracy regarding leg lengths, as it is hard to lengthen a leg too much with this procedure, as the intact, uncut soft tissues will not allow it.

Will I need a transfusion?

Blood loss in the minimally invasive anterolateral hip replacement is typically low. The transfusion rate is less than one percent. As such, we do not require pre-op blood donation.

Will I need therapy?

A physical therapist will work with you prior to discharge, teaching you to properly walk with a walker and stair climbing. You will also be taught exercises to be done at home. A physical therapist will come to your home to help with exercise and gait training if needed for the first two weeks. Outpatient physical therapy will then be started based on your need.

Do I have to worry about blood clots?

DVT is a risk of hip replacement, but the early rapid mobility after minimally invasive anterolateral hip replacement surgery seems to minimize risk. After surgery you will be taking Aspirin for a total of 6 weeks. If you have a high risk of blood clots by history, you will be started on a low dose of Coumadin (Warfarin).

How do I get home or to the rehabilitation hospital?

Patients going home should let their family/friends know that they can be picked up the day of their discharge in any type of automobile (e.g., sedan, SUV, van, etc.). Transportation to rehabilitation facilities will be discussed and can be arranged by a member of the case management staff.