Preparing for Surgery

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Your joint or spine surgery may help to ease your pain, but you can’t rush right to it. You should know some key information about preparing for surgery and your return home.

  • Before your surgery, it’s very important that you notify your surgeon of any medication you’re taking. Some medications can interfere and must be stopped before surgery.
  • All surgeries carry risks that your surgeon will explain to you. You may be asked to see your primary care doctor to ensure you don’t have health conditions that could complicate surgery.
  • You may be asked to donate blood before surgery in case a transfusion is needed.
  • Surgery requires anesthesia. Your options will be based on your health history, medications you take and the results of your physical examination.
  • Your surgeon may recommend you begin a strengthening program before surgery to assist your recovery.

Prepare for Recovery

  • Your surgeon will give you a recovery plan that includes prescribed exercises. Don’t attempt exercises not prescribed by your surgeon.
  • Launder your dirty clothes before surgery and have loose, comfortable clothes set aside for recovery.
  • Make easily microwaveable single-serve meals before surgery so you can quickly prepare and clean up after meals.
  • Place frequently used cooking supplies and utensils where they can be easily reached in the kitchen.
  • Place regularly used items, such as remote controls, medications and reading materials, where you can easily get to them.
  • Beware of floor hazards, such as small objects and uneven surfaces. Prepare to watch for pets underfoot, as well.
  • Remove or secure trip hazards such as wires, magazine racks, loose rugs and loose carpeting. Cover slippery surfaces with firmly anchored rugs and carpet.
  • Widen furniture paths.
  • Provide good lighting throughout the house.
  • Untuck your bedding to make it easier to get in and out of bed after surgery.
  • Ask for assistance from a friend or family member for your care and recovery. Your coach may want to take a look at our Coach’s Guide for more information.