There's a lot to think about before you undergo orthopedic surgery. Whether the purpose of your procedure is to investigate an injury or repair damage to a joint, some preparation will help you get ready physically, mentally and practically for what's to come.
Tips for Before Your Orthopedic Surgery
Your surgical team will undoubtedly walk you through all the ins and outs of your procedure ahead of time. However, you may find it useful to have a tip sheet handy with a few helpful pointers you may not have thought of.
1. Register With the Hospital
Once your surgery has been scheduled, you'll need to register with the hospital where the procedure will take place.
2. Get Cleared for Surgery
You may need some preoperative testing or a brief checkup by your primary care doctor to clear you for surgery. Your surgeon will tell you exactly what lab tests you need ahead of time. The surgical team also needs to be aware of:
- Preexisting health conditions.
- Any medications you currently use.
- Known allergies.
3. Get Your Home Ready
Preparing well ahead of time for your homecoming from the hospital will make the days and weeks after your surgery much more relaxed. Put items that you use most often within easy reach of your bed or couch.
4. Make Arrangements at Work
Tell your workplace about your surgery so that they're prepared. If you need to, you can get documentation from your surgeon regarding a leave of absence or work restrictions.
5. Enlist a Support Crew
Whether it's your spouse, a sibling or a close friend, you will need someone to help you out both at the hospital and afterward. Ask someone to spend the night with you or, at the very least, drive you to and from the hospital. Arrange for people who can help you with everyday tasks and errands.
6. Follow All Pre-Op Instructions
Your surgical team will provide you with a few essential preoperative instructions to ensure your surgery is as safe as possible. The most important of these is to stop using NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, at least five days before surgery and not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery.
Tips for the Day of Your Orthopedic Surgery
The more you can prepare ahead of time for your surgery, the better. That way, all you have to think about on that day is getting to the hospital and preparing yourself for the procedure.
1. Come Prepared and Early
You will be asked to arrive at least two hours before your scheduled surgery time. Leave all valuables at home, but be sure to bring the following:
- Photo ID
- Insurance card
- Current list of medications you take
- Hygiene items
- Changes of clothes
2. Communicate With Hospital Staff
Whether you have concerns about your surgery or you want to ask for something that will make you more comfortable, like a blanket, the hospital staff is available to ensure you stay calm and worry-free before your procedure. Don't be afraid to ask questions and communicate what you need.
3. Understand Your Post-Op Plan
Your orthopedic surgeon will work with you and your physical therapist to develop a recovery plan. Before you leave the hospital, be sure you understand all post-operative instructions and ask any questions you may have about your post-surgical care.
Tips for After Your Orthopedic Surgery
Your post-operative care is vitally important, as this time ensures a smooth and successful recovery.
1. Carefully Follow All Post-Op Instructions
From taking care of your incision to your pain mediation dosage, your surgical team will provide you with a comprehensive list of post-op instructions. These will aid your recovery and ensure you heal as swiftly and painlessly as possible.
2. Come Prepared to Your Post-Operative Appointment
Your first post-operative appointment will be set for about two weeks after your surgery. During this appointment, your surgical team will review any findings, inspect your incision and review your recovery plan. You'll also have an opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Contact Our Team With Any and All Questions
When Dr. Mufaddal Gombera is your orthopedic surgeon, you can count on comprehensive care and compassionate understanding — before, during and after your procedure. We're here to answer all your questions and would be happy to walk you some steps to prepare for your surgery. Feel free to contact us today to learn more.