Upon Arrival at the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute
The Surgical Procedure
You will be admitted to the
hospital on the day of your surgery. After admission, you will be evaluated to
determine what type of anesthesia is best for you. The most
common type of anesthesia is general anesthesia.
Your orthopedic surgeon will remove the damaged joint and replace it
with biocompatible devices that provide a smooth and painless range of motion.
The complication rate following total shoulder replacement is low. Serious complications occur in less than 2 percent of patients. Medical complications such as heart attack or
stroke occur even less frequently. Chronic illnesses may increase the potential
for complications. Although uncommon, when these complications occur, they can
prolong or limit your full recovery. Blood clots and infection are rare
complications of shoulder replacement surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will
outline a prevention program.
After surgery, you will be
moved to the recovery room, where you will remain while your recovery from anesthesia is monitored. After you awaken, you
will be taken to your inpatient, private room.
Call, Don't Fall
One of the highest risks for complications associated with joint replacement surgery is the danger of patients falling after surgery.
"Patients who have joint replacement surgery have typically experienced significant pain for prolonged periods of time. When they wake up post-operatively, they are suddenly pain-free due to the anesthesia and pain medication used in their operations and post-operatively,” said Kim Beekmann, R.N., CJRI’s executive director. “When they first try to stand, they often find themselves very unsteady.”
From pre-surgery classes through surgical preparations, CJRI staff stress to patients that regardless of their age or condition, they are at risk to fall following surgery.
“When patients come in for their surgery, we partner with them and family members by asking them to sign a pledge stating that they are aware that they are at risk of falling and that they will promise to give us a call anytime they need to mobilize — getting in or out of bed, a chair or the bathroom, so we can assist them,” Ms. Beekmann said. Patients are reminded of this pledge by staff at eight-hour intervals following surgery and through a message on the communication boards in their rooms that reads: Call — Don’t Fall.
In a further step to prevent patient falls, the beds on CJRI’s post-operative units are equipped with special monitors. "The beds are weight-activated so that if a certain percentage of the patient’s weight is lifted off the bed, it will trigger an alarm at the nursing station so that staff can come to make sure they have the assistance they need,” Ms. Beekmann said.
Total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the joints.