Joint Care FAQs

The information below is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. Every person is different, so please contact a physician to help you make the appropriate health care decision.

  • What should I wear at Joint Care?

    Joint Care patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing such as sweatpants (hip patients), short pants (hip & knee patients) and a comfortable shirt. Shoes should have an enclosed toe and heel such as tennis shoes since you will be walking the halls and exercising. Patients who spend all of their time in bed after surgery do not recover as quickly and experience more complications than patients who move around more.

  • When can I drive?

    Driving is an individual matter. Some people regain their coordination and reflexes quickly while others take several weeks. Your physician will let you know when it is safe to drive. You should not drive if you are taking pain medication.

  • Should I put lotion on my incision?

    No, not until approved by your surgeon.

  • When can I go up and down stairs?

    You may go up and down stairs immediately after joint replacement, but it is important to do this safely.

    Please tell the nursing staff and physical therapists about any stairs you have outside and/or inside your home. The physical therapist will train you on how to properly go up/down stairs after surgery to help you get around in your home without problems.

  • When can I increase my activities?

    You may go up and down stairs immediately after joint replacement, but it is important to do this safely.

    Please tell the nursing staff and physical therapists about any stairs you have outside and/or inside your home. The physical therapist will train you on how to properly go up/down stairs after surgery to help you get around in your home without problems.

  • How do I prevent infection?
    You or anyone who touches the incision or changes the bandage needs to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer. Hand hygiene is the best and most important method to prevent infections. Use clean bed linens, wear clean clothing and use disinfectants to clean surfaces such as bathroom fixtures.
  • How long will my exercise therapy last?

    You should do your exercises for at least 4 - 6 weeks after surgery depending on your individual needs. Your physician will check your condition closely and give you additional instructions.

  • What equipment will I need to obtain for use in my home after surgery?

    A case manager or social worker will help you obtain a walker if you do not already have one. If you have a shower stall, a shower stool can be used for support. A shower head on a flexible hose is convenient but optional. An elevated toilet seat such as a portable potty chair is optional for knee and anterior hip replacement patients but is necessary for posterior hip replacement patients. Grab bars are optional. Some patients who have had both knees replaced at the same time may want to consider an elevated toilet seat, but this is also optional.

  • Importance of antibiotics
    A major concern of joint replacement surgery is infection. Even years after surgery, it can be a potential problem. Possible causes of infection include dental procedures, skin infection, respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. Contact your surgeon with any problems or concerns.

    Infections should always be treated aggressively. Preventive antibiotics have been known to be effective in decreasing the occurrence of infection after dental procedures, kidney or bladder examinations.

    Remember, let your family physician and dentist know that you have had joint replacement surgery.
  • Blood thinner after surgery
    You will be given a blood thinner AFTER surgery. It is important to take this blood thinner as instructed for the duration the doctor has recommended. The type of blood thinner may vary depending on your medical history and type of surgery you have had. Our pharmacy will assist you at discharge with your discharge medications including the blood thinner if you would like. Please let your nurse know if you have any further questions.