After Surgery

Our goal at University Hospital is to help you plan for your discharge even before you even enter the hospital. This process begins when you attend the Joint Class. Beginning with your surgeon and the entire care team, we are planning to minimize your hospital stay to less than two days and get you within the comfort of your home quickly.

Patients who are discharged home quickly do better long term. As discussed before, we require you to have a “partner” available to help you for the 1-2 weeks of your home stay. You will be ready to go home from the hospital once you have shown walking ability with physical therapy, and you are medically stable.

Case management team will be discussing the home care needs with you before the surgery at the joint class and will set up all needs before discharge. Your surgeon will make the decision on home care needs and will be set based on what is covered by your insurance approval. The home care needs can be different from patient to patient but will be set to what you need.

Day of discharge:

On the day of discharge, your care team is working towards a smooth discharge plan. The following will occur on the discharge day:

  • Physician and/or nursing will discuss your medication list
  • You will be provided with your discharge prescriptions
  • Your nurse will review the discharge advices with you
  • Care coordination team will arrange for home care
  • Discharge time is before 11am and it is important to have your ride available. If you have a lot of belongings, you may want your family to bring them to the car ahead of you. To make your car ride more comfortable, plan to bring extra pillows in car and plan your pain medication accordingly.

Other discharge plans will be discussed by your care team if needed.

Discharge Checklist

Before leaving hospital, be sure to know the following:

  • How to move safely
  • How to get in and out of bed
  • How to walk with a walker
  • How to climb stairs if you need to
  • Equipment you might need at home
  • What home care arrangements have been made
  • What symptoms should be reported to your surgeon
  • How long to wait before reporting unexpected symptoms
  • When you should follow-up with your surgeon and primary care physician
  • Know your medication schedule for home
  • Phone numbers to call back if you have questions for surgeon, case management

Ongoing Care

This is the most important time of the healing process. You are in the comfort of your home; you can make your own schedule and have meals you like. Please make sure you are staying active, doing your exercises, properly controlling your pain and eating healthy food.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact your surgeon. Do call your surgeon’s office without waiting for the symptoms to get worse.

  • Fever greater than 101 degrees for more 24 hours
  • Surgical site shows increasing redness, draining or swelling
  • Sudden increase in leg pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the surgical leg
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Calf pain with or without redness and swelling

Please call the home health agency if you have not received a call from them within 48 hours of going home from the hospital.
Driving and bathing in a tub should be discussed with your surgeon.
Please follow up with your primary care doctor and keep your scheduled follow up appointment with the surgeon.