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Post op (Total Knee, Total Hip)
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Avoiding Post-surgical Complications
Although joint replacements are often extremely successful it is important to be aware of certain post-surgical complications that can arise. Seek medical attention immediately if you are concerned about your new joint replacement or your overall health status.

Some complications that could arise are:

  • Infection
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Constipation

An infection is caused by bacteria growing in the wound. Seek medical attention if:

  • Increased swelling, pain or redness
  • Increased amount of drainage
  • Foul odor
  • Temperature >101
  • Wound breaks open

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Seek medical attention if:

  • Pain or tenderness in the leg
  • Increased warmth in the area of the leg that is swollen or painful
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg or affected extremity

Constipation is hard formed stool or difficult passage of bowel movements. To prevent constipation:

  • Increase fiber in your diet
  • Increase activity
  • Drink fluids
  • Bowel regimen (including laxative of choice, suppositories, enemas as needed).

Home Safety Guidelines
At discharge two medications will be prescribed:

  • Xarelto: Prescribed for 14-28 days as prevention for blood clots. Side effects can include:
    • Bruising
    • Increased bleeding
  • Pain Medication: Prescribed based on your pain needs at discharge. Side effects can include:
    • Constipation
    • Upset stomach
    • Nausea

Take medications only as prescribed by your physician. DO NOT take any anti-inflammatory medications while on blood thinners unless ordered by your physician.

It is important to follow-up as directed by your orthopaedic surgeon. At your follow-up appointment you can expect that x-rays will be done, your incision will be examined for signs of proper healing and staples will be removed.

To schedule your follow up appointment, please call (859) 301-2663. Your appointment should take place between 7 and 14 days following surgery.

Some patients may also be asked to follow-up with their primary care physician as well as schedule their outpatient/home physical therapy sessions.

Incision Care
Please follow these guidelines regarding your incision:

  • The dressing applied to your incision is waterproof; therefore, you may shower with the dressing in place. However, avoid baths, hot tubs, or swimming pools until directed by your surgeon.
  • The dressing should be removed 3 to 4 days after discharge from the hospital and left open to air.
  • If the incision is draining, cover with gauze and change daily.
  • DO NOT apply creams, powders, lotions, or ointments to the incision.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

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