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Susan, Boston, USA

Information by Dr Glen Vardi
Edited for the website by Lorraine Melvill

Total Knee and Hip Replacement

Patient Information Sheet


What to expect pre-operatively

Consultation with Orthopaedic surgeon:

Consultation with Physician:

Consultation with Anaesthetist:

Day Surgery:

What to expect post-operatively

They include the following:

You will spend one night in intensive care, and will then be transferred back to the ward. In both the ICU and the ward you will have a physiotherapist who works with you at least twice daily. They work with your lungs as well as your limbs. They will get you to stand up after 24 hours, and to start walking after 48 hours. Initially you will need the aid of a Zimmer walking frame, and later a pair of crutches. You will be assisted with walking, stair-climbing, toilet and getting into and out of bed.

Over the week following surgery you will progressively be freed of the tubes and cables until you are totally independent from them. By the time you are discharged from hospital (mostly about one week), you will be able to function independently in terms of dressing, walking, going to the toilet and getting into and out of bed. You will be advised to use crutches following the operation.

You should have little or no pain by the time you are discharged. You will, however, be provided with adequate analgesia if required.

Most patients following total hip replacement experience very little or no pain from about day 5 onwards, and most patients are able to walk normally after only about 2 weeks. I still recommend using crutches for longer.

Most patients following total knee replacement take some time to settle down. The biomechanics of the artificial knee are not the same as the old knee, and most patients take about 6 months until they are completely pain free and happy.

Dr Mark Ferguson – Knees, Shoulders and Sport

Dr Glen Vardi – Knees


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