Preparing for Total Joint Surgery

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Preparing for Surgery

Our goal is to provide exceptional orthopedic care to patients undergoing joint replacement surgery. The expert team of surgeons, nurses, and physical/occupational therapists work to ensure an optimal outcome from surgery individually tailored to fit your needs and lifestyle.

From the pre-surgical preparations through the recovery phase, we encourage you to be an active participant in the surgical treatment of your new joint. After all, the most important member of your health care team is you! The expert team of surgeons, nurses, and physical/occupational therapists work to ensure an optimal outcome from surgery individually tailored to fit your needs and lifestyle.

The Orthopedic Team

Orthopedic Surgeon

  • Performs your surgery
  • Visits you in the hospital
  • Directs the care team throughout your recovery

Consulting Physician

  • Directs your medical care during your hospital stay
  • Consultation is ordered by your surgeon when needed

Physician Assistant

  • Licensed Physician Assistants – assist the surgeon before, during and after surgery
  • Joint and Orthopedic Nurse Manager – Responsible for Orthopedic/Joint Surgery Care

Nursing Staff

  • Consists of trained and licensed nursing professionals
  • Provides personal care during your hospital stay

Physical/Occupational Therapists

  • Evaluate your physical capabilities and develops your recovery plan
  • Instruct and supervise your exercise and walking program

Case Managers

  • Assist with insurance questions, financial planning and care decisions
  • Trained professionals who plan your needs after discharge from the hospital
  • Prepare for medical equipment needed for your recovery

What to Expect at the Hospital

  • Surgery Time: One to two hours for one joint and about two to four hours for two joints and/or revision surgery.
  • Recovery Room: Approximately one to three hours. Family members are usually not allowed to visit the patient.
  • Average Hospital Stay: Two to four days for total knee or total hip replacement.

Bring the following items with you on the day of surgery:

  • Pajamas, gown, and robes: You may want to use a hospital gown for the first couple of days because your incision may soil your own pajamas. Long robes are not appropriate and may even pose a hazard to you.
  • Slippers: The hospital will provide non-skid footies for you, which we will utilize for your therapy sessions. Simple, non-skid slippers are also acceptable.
  • Assistive Devices: KRMC provides all assistive devices used during your inpatient stay. However, feel free to bring your own assistive devices if you prefer.
  • Clothing: To participate in therapy, you will need a supply of comfortable pants or shorts, shirts, undergarments, socks, and shoes.
  • Personal hygiene and grooming products: If you forget something, KRMC will provide basic hygiene products.

Discharge Planning:

Planning your discharge from the hospital before your surgery will make your return home more comfortable. Someone should stay with you after you go home. Rearrange kitchen, bath, and bedroom so that items will be easily accessible for you. Chair heights should be 21 inches or higher for hip replacements. A case manager will meet with you during your hospital stay to assist with your arrangements to return home.


Your physician will determine the length of time after surgery before you are able to drive safely.

*Apply for a temporary Handicap sticker for your vehicle. To do so, contact your local county clerk for application.

Case Management

KRMC’s Case Management staff consists of registered nurses assigned to every area of the hospital. The Case Manager will work to help identify and assess your needs, discuss resources and benefits that may be available to you, answer pertinent questions about your hospital stay and assist with your discharge plans.

The case manager will review your care with the physician and other members of the health care team in order to determine medical necessity and certify each day of your hospital stay. Depending on your needs and insurance benefits you may qualify for continued care by another health care provider. Any questions you may have about insurance coverage or providers can be addressed by the case manager.

The case manager and your physician will discuss discharge planning needs with you. If additional outpatient services are needed, i.e., home health care, therapy or durable medical equipment (assistive devices), these may be arranged by the case manager. In conjunction with the therapy staff your needs will be evaluated for any necessary durable medical equipment, rehabilitation services, extended nursing care facility or transitional care unit needs. The staff will be available to you and your family throughout your hospital stay.

Case Management staff will be following you after your surgery to identify your needs and assist you in access to resources available to help you during your recovery period.
If you have questions or concerns regarding Case Management needs, please call Stephanie Murphy at 308-455-3807.