Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help, you’ll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step. Understanding this process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
- Losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. If you are overweight, you should not diet the month before your surgery.
- You will need to stop taking any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, or warfarin one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
- Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.
- Have someone available to take you home, as you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours
- Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home. The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
- Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.