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Joint Surgery

Joint Institute Patient Video




What Happens After Surgery

Since mobility will be a challenge, make sure your home is prepared for you when you get out of the hospital. 

  • Things you use daily should be at arm’s length so you don’t bend unnecessarily
  • If your house has two stories and your bedroom is upstairs, have your bed moved downstairs temporarily
  • Have someone else move furniture so you have room  to get around with crutches, cane or a walker
  • Get rid of loose carpets or exposed electrical cords that could cause a fall
  • An ottoman or footstool is a comfort for helping you keep your operated limb straight out in front of you when sitting
  • Pockets, pockets, pockets.  Wear garments that have them for necessities – or carry a shoulder bag
  • Things to keep within arm’s reach at home:
    • phone
    • television and remote controls
    • radio
    • facial tissues
    • wastebasket
    • a pitcher of water and a glass
    • reading materials
    • medications

If you live alone, you’ll probably need to stay in a rehab center for a prescribed period of time.  Make sure your insurance covers this cost.

When you finally get home, you’ll probably need home nursing care for a week or two to help

  • with bathing
  • supervise your exercises
  • make sure you don’t over extend yourself
  • check your medical supplies
  • check your daily necessities


Bloodless Surgery

AtlantiCare is one of about 50 U.S. hospitals that practices bloodless medicine and surgery as an alternative to transfusion.   

What is Bloodless Surgery?

  • A form of medical care that reduces and often eliminates the need for a blood transfusion.
  • An acceptable solution for patients whose religion forbids blood transfusions.


  • Since the blood being transfused is yours, you know its safe
  • One visit to the hospital to donate your own blood is all it takes
  • You decrease and often eliminate the need for a blood transfusion
  • Your oxygen carrying capacity is increased by increasing your hemoglobin level and iron stores

Two medications are used in the bloodless medicine and surgery program:

  • Venofer - an iron sucrose given by IV which bypasses the gut, avoiding diarrhea or constipation
  • Epogen - a synthetic hormone similar to the hormone released by your kidneys; given by injection

Why Opt for Bloodless Surgery?

  • The longer blood is stored, the less potent it is, so it’s benefit to you diminishes
  • The significant decrease in the number of blood donors makes blood for transfusions less and less available, and more and more expensive
  • Not only is the cost of blood transfusions high and climbing, but there are administrative add-on costs over and above the cost of blood
  • You may refuse a blood transfusion for religious reasons
  • You may suffer a negative reaction to a blood transfusio
  • when someone else’s blood is used, there’s an increased risk of infection

Bloodless surgery helps with

  • tissue repair
  • new bone cell formation
  • boosting your immune system

It’s used in both invasive and non-invasive medicine and surgery.


Preparing For Surgery

Nothing else has worked so doctors tell me that surgery is the only way to make the pain go away and let me enjoy a normal life again.

What do I have to do before surgery?

1) You’ll go through pre-admission testing which means

  • x-rays
  • blood work
  • opt for the Bloodless Medicine Program or donate your own blood for the surgery

2) Approval for surgery from your primary doctor who is always kept in the loop because who knows you better?

3) Back to a pre-op class for about two hours:  a requirement whether you’re having knee or hip replacement.  In the class, you’ll be told and shown on plastic models what to expect. Benefits include:
  • Get information you may not have thought to ask about
  • Ask questions that may not have occurred to you before
  • Be in class with others who will be having similar surgery,  so you realize you’re not alone 

4) A month or so before surgery, you’ll begin a physician-supervised exercise program so you’ll be in the best possible shape.  Increasing upper body strength is important to help you use a walker, crutches or cane in early post-surgery days.

5) If you’re overweight, losing weight is important in helping you reduce stress on your new joint.

6) Get any dental work done as bacteria can enter the body through your gums.  Have needed extractions or periodontal work done before your surgery.

7) Your surgeon may advise you to stop taking some of your current medications which could interfere with surgery. 

  • Always make sure your surgeon is aware of all medications you take, including over-the-counter, vitamin supplements, minerals, etc.
  • Keep a list of everything you take on your computer so it can be printed out for each doctor

8)  Check with your local pharmacy to make sure he has any anti-coagulation medicine on hand that you may need post-op for the prevention of blood clotting.

9)  Whatever you do, stop smoking if you’re a smoker

10)  Check your insurance to make sure your surgery, hospital stay and medications are covered

Packing for the hospital

What to take:

  • Basic toiletries (toothbrush, hair brush)
  • Eyeglasses (no contact lenses)
  • Dentures if you have any
  • Hearing aid
  • Your list of medications
  • Phone numbers that you call regularly
  • A book or magazine

What not to take:

  • Medications unless directed by your hospital doctors
  • Valuable jewelry
  • A large amount of cash
  • Credit cards
  • Wallet
  • Watch

For further questions or instructions, visit the Patient & Visitor section of the AtlantiCare web site, or ask your physician or nurse.

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement is a minimally invasive procedure in which only one side of the knee joint is replaced.

Learn more about knee replacement surgery in our health library.


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