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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 Commonwealth Orthpaedic Centers at (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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