Post op (Total Knee, Total Hip)
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:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
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:
- Increased bleeding
- Pain Medication: Prescribed based on your pain needs at discharge. Side effects can include:
- Upset stomach
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.
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.