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Overview of Hospital Stay

Below is a general day-by-day overview of your hospital stay while undergoing Total Joint Replacement at The Medical Center. While each patient's experience is unique, listed are general expectations for Surgery Day through your return home.

Surgery Day
Surgery Day begins at The Medical Center Ambulatory Surgery Center, which is located to the rear of the hospital on High Street. You will sign in at the registration desk, and soon afterward your nurse will guide you to a surgery prep room. There, you will change into your hospital gown, and an IV will be started. You'l then meet with your anesthesiologist and your surgeon will visit before surgery.

For a routine total joint replacement, surgery typically lasts 1-2 hours. Following surgery, you will go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for recovery and monitoring from 1 to 1.5 hours. While in recovery, we will monitor your condition including vital signs and pain control. Upon leaving PACU, you'll be taken to your private room. In the comfort of your room, our orthopaedic nursing staff will continue to monitor your overall condition. Dependent upon your condition, physical therapy may begin.

Post-op Day One
The first day after surgery, lab work will be completed early in the morning. The doctor, as well as the nursing staff, will continue to assess and monitor your progress. Your drain may be removed and oxygen use will be discontinued. Your physical therapist will make two visits, and your discharge planner will begin to make arrangements. Also on Day One, your family/friends will consult with nursing and physical therapy staffs to learn about care needs for when you return home.

Post-op Day Two
Lab work will again be completed in the early morning. Your IV, tubes and drains will be removed. Physical therapy will make two visits. By this time you will be walking in the hall and sitting up for meals.

Post-op Day Three
More blood work may be taken, and dependent upon your progress you may be discharged today. Your surgical dressing will be replaced and your nurse will review pertinent information with you and family/friends in preparation for going home. You will receive valuable written instructions and education materials to keep you and your caregiver(s) informed on what to expect in the coming days, weeks and months. Your physical therapist will also visit again, making sure you can climb stairs, if needed.

Going Home
Now that it's time to go home, your doctor will schedule a follow-up office visit. Your discharge planner has made arrangements for your continued rehabilitation and therapy, and those plans will be shared with you and family/friends. Rehabilitation services are available through The Medical Center Rehabilitation Services and Bluegrass Outpatient Center; be sure to ask your discharge planner about these options. You will also receive detailed instructions for what you can and cannot do following surgery to protect your new joint until healing is secure and your doctor releases you from the restrictions.