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Pre-Op Checklist

Preparing for total joint replacement begins weeks before the actual surgery. To ensure your surgery can be performed as scheduled, you should complete the following arrangements before being admitted to the hospital:

Get a physical exam

A physical examination is required within 30 days of your surgical date to assess your overall health and identify any medical conditions that could interfere with your surgery or recovery.

See the dentist

An infection can occur if bacteria enters your bloodstream. Complete dental procedures such as extractions and any periodontal work before surgery.

Review current medications with your surgeon
  • Do not take Plavix®, anti-inflammatory medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen, or blood thinners within two weeks of surgery unless permitted by your physician. Most herbal supplements should also be stopped.
  • Ask your orthopedic surgeon which prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamin and herbal supplements you continue or and should not take before surgery.
  • Generally, you may take most medications until the day of surgery. Ask if you should take your heart and blood pressure medications with a sip of water on the day of surgery.
Discuss your pain management plan with doctors

Discuss with your anesthesiologist and surgeon your options for pain management before, during, and after surgery. If possible, fill any prescriptions you need before you are discharged from the hospital.

Schedule a hospital pre-surgical assessment appointment

You must have a pre-surgical assessment with healthcare professionals a few days prior to surgery to make sure everything is in order before your operation. A staff member will call you to schedule your appointment a few days prior to your surgery. Your past medical history will determine which pre-surgical testing will be required. Bring a written list of past surgeries along with a list of your prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamin and herbal supplements — and their dosages. All patients undergo a COVID swab regardless of vaccination history.

Get lab tests done

Your doctor may also refer to you to your PCP to have routine blood work within 14 days before surgery. If you are unable to see your PCP prior to your surgery, you may get blood work completed at your pre-surgical testing appointment. Patients over age 50 and those with a history of cardiac or respiratory may also have an EKG and chest X-ray within days of surgery. Most preadmission testing can be performed here at the hospital where you will have your surgery.

Admission registration

Prior to hospitalization, you will be asked to verify your current address, telephone numbers, and insurance information and provide consent for treatment. Patients are routinely asked about any advanced directives or “living wills” they may have. Please plan to bring a copy of these documents with you on the day of surgery.

Surgical consent

Your surgeon will ask you to sign a consent form confirming that you agree to have the operation and that you know the risks involved. If this is not done in the surgeon’s office or sometime before surgery, it will be completed the day you arrive at the hospital prior to surgery.

Plan rehabilitative care

You may need help at home for the first few weeks after surgery, including assistance with bathing, dressing, shopping, preparing meals, and transportation. If you are not able to arrange for someone to help you at home and your doctor has ordered home care, a social worker can assist with the options available. When you can safely leave the house, you can begin outpatient physical therapy (if ordered by your doctor).

Arrange transportation to and from the hospital and outpatient therapy

Plan to stay for 1 to 2 nights in the hospital. Make arrangements for someone to bring you to the hospital and pick you up when you are discharged. You may also need assistance getting to and from outpatient therapy if you are not yet able to drive yourself.

To learn more or register, please call the Joint Academy Navigator at 682-242-0462.