Study guide


You’re considering a joint replacement, now what?

Surgical options.

Surgical Options for the Knee
Surgical Options for the Hip
Surgical options

Preparing for your surgery.

Pre-Operative Class
Surgical options

Care team.

As you prepare for surgery, you'll meet the team of health care professionals who will participate in your care and guide you through the recovery process. You'll work together toward regaining your ability to care for yourself and get back to your normal activities.

Your Team:

  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • He/she will perform the surgical procedure and follow your care during your hospital stay.
  • Primary Care Physician or Hospitalist
    • You might need to meet with him/her prior to your surgery if you have several medical problems. This person may complete your initial pre-op workup and they may follow your care during your hospital stay.
  • Anesthesiologists
    • This physician will see you before your surgery to discuss your medical history and the type of anesthesia that will be used.
  • Nurses and Nurse Technicians
    • These staff members work together as a team to provide care for you in various areas of the hospital. A nurse will get you ready for surgery, manage your care in the operating room, and take care of you in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Your care will also be managed by a nurse on the orthopaedic unit.
    • More than 40% of the orthopaedic nurses are certified in their specialty, and many have been on the unit for several years.
  • Chaplain/Spiritual Care Staff
    • This staff member can assist you or your family with emotional and religious support.
  • Physical/Occupational Therapist
    • These staff members will assist you with your exercise and strengthening routines, walking and maintaining your ADL functions.
  • Case Manager
    • This staff member will assist you with your discharge planning needs, either home or rehab placement.
  • Respiratory Therapist
    • This staff member will assist you with your coughing and deep breathing exercises.
Surgical options

Anesthesia and you.

All anesthetics for total joint replacements at UM SJMC are performed by board certified physician anesthesiologists. There are several types of anesthesia that can be performed for these surgical procedures and this decision deserves careful consideration and discussion between you, your anesthesiologist, and your surgeon. Factors that may influence this decision include:

  • Health and physical condition
  • Past experiences with surgery and anesthesia
  • Medications and medication allergies/reactions
  • Benefits and risks of each type of anesthesia
  • Preferences of the surgery/anesthesia team and you
Before Surgery
Types of Anesthesia
Surgical options

Your hospital stay.

How long do I stay in the hospital?
Day of Surgery
Initial Post-Operative Period
Discharge Planning
Surgical options

Rapid recovery program.

Pain management following total joint replacement has come a long way over the last 10-15 years with a variety of new methods available for pain control. We’ve pioneered a unique process designed to help you get back on your feet faster, with less pain. Our rapid recovery program helps you achieve earlier range of motion, reduces stiffness and pain, and ultimately makes the procedure much less painful.

UM SJMC uses a multi-modal approach to pain management, which means your pain is controlled in a variety of different ways before, during, and after surgery to ensure the best results possible.

Before Surgery

  • You'll take specific medicines (NSAIDS & Narcotic Pain Medicines) 24 hours before surgery to prevent the pain cycle from ever starting.
  • We educate you so you'll have set expectations on how quickly you'll be moving after surgery and what types of activities you can do. Education helps lessen your anxiety about the unknown and enables you to move more quickly after surgery.

During Surgery

  • The surgeon administers pain and numbing medication into the joint that blocks pain. This injection lasts 24–36 hours and by the time it wears off, the pain is manageable by oral pain medications.

After Surgery

  • Formal physical therapy begins the morning after the surgery and promotes a continuum of progress.

Not only will you get moving faster with our rapid recovery program, but you’ll also get earlier range of motion, which helps prevent postoperative complications such as blood clots or pneumonia.

Surgical options

Continuing your recovery.

How long does it take to recover?
What can I do/not do after surgery?
When can I walk after surgery?
When can I shower?
When can I drive?
When can I return to work?
Do I need physical therapy after surgery, if so for how long?
What are the major complications?
How long do I have to follow up?

Spiritual care.

Care at UM SJMC goes beyond your physical health. We believe that it’s important to be mentally and emotionally prepared for surgery. This may include preparations at home, care of other family members, etc. Click here for more information.

Surgical options