Pre and postoperative instructions
Before the Procedure
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
Prepare your home.
Two weeks before surgery you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs.
You may also need to stop taking medicines that can make your body more likely to get an infection. These include methotrexate, Enbrel, or other medicines that suppress your immune system.
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see the doctor who treats you for these conditions.
Tell your doctor if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.
If you smoke, you need to stop. Ask your doctor or nurse for help. Smoking will slow down wound and bone healing. Your recovery may not be as good if you keep smoking.
Always let your doctor know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you have before your surgery.
You may want to visit a physical therapist to learn some exercises to do before surgery.
Set up your home to make everyday tasks easier.
Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair correctly.
On the day of your surgery:
You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
After the Procedure
You will stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days. During that time you will recover from your anesthesia and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.
Full recovery will take 4 months to a year.
Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own.