What to expect at the hospital
The Joint Replacement Program
A successful hip or knee replacement relies on more than just good surgical technique. A whole range of factors and a number of people will influence the speed of your recovery and the ease of your whole hospital experience.
Your hospital care starts with the pre-admission clinic. I will get you to have your routine blood tests done there so that all of the results are available on the day. You will also get to meet a physiotherapist who can give you some exercises to begin working on and give you a "test run" using crutches. The more you practice before hospital, the easier your recovery will be.
The Surgery And General Medical Care
Techniques are evolving all the time along with the actual implants. Less invasive operations mean shorter incisions, less pain and quicker recovery. In almost all cases, you will be walking the next day.
I will frequently get my older patients to see one of my General Physician colleagues for a "once over" before they are admitted to hospital and to give me some assistance with their care after operation.
Length Of Stay
Minimally invasive surgery means that knee hemiarthroplasties (half joint replacements) can usually be discharged at day 3 or 4. Total hip replacements can usually leave around day 5, particularly if they have good support at home.
In older patients, those without home support or patients with other medical problems, a couple of weeks at a rehabilitation hospital after initial recovery can be arranged. If rehabilitation is going to be necessary, the need is identified early and a booking made on admission to hospital.
In Hospital Physiotherapy
A dedicated and enthusiastic team of physiotherapists will assist you in the early days of your recovery. It is important for your heart and lungs as well as your joint replacement to move out of bed early and to exercise regularly with the proper movements. They will give you important advice about positioning your limb to limit swelling and make moving about as safe as possible. They will make sure you pass a couple of "tests" before you leave and make sure you can get around any obstacles you encounter.
My office staff will try to make your pre-operative arrangements as painless as possible. They can give you advice about the "financials" including your Health Fund and will arrange a quotation of the fees and any pre-payments. You will need to make arrangements with the office to see me for a follow-up visit after your surgery.