Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery

This Pre-Surgery Checklist is typical. Ask your CJRI physician about any special preparations you might need to make.

  • Weight Loss  
    If you are overweight, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight before surgery to minimize the stress on your new hip and potentially decrease the risks of surgery.
  • Medical Evaluation
    You may be asked to have a complete physical by your family physician several weeks before surgery to assess your health, and to rule out any conditions that could interfere with your surgery. 
  • Dental Evaluation  
    Although the incidence of infections after hip replacement is very low, an infection can occur if bacteria enter the bloodstream.  Because bacteria can enter the bloodstream during dental procedures, you should consider getting treatment for significant dental diseases (including tooth extractions and periodontal work) before your hip replacement surgery.  Routine cleaning of your teeth should be delayed for several weeks after surgery. 
  • Urological Evaluation 
    A preoperative urological evaluation should be considered if you have a history of recent or frequent urinary infections.  For older men with prostate disease, any necessary treatment should be considered prior to hip replacement surgery. 
  • Anesthesia Evaluation 
    Prior to admission, a member of the anesthesia team will evaluate you.  The most common types of anesthesia for hip replacement surgery are general anesthesia (which puts you to sleep throughout the procedure and uses a machine to help you breath) or spinal anesthesia (which allows you to breath on your own,  but anesthetizes your body from the waist down).  The anesthesia team will discuss these choices with you and help you decide which type of anesthesia is best for you.
  • Tests
    Several tests, such as blood tests, a urine test, and a cardiogram, may be needed to help your orthopedic surgeon plan your surgery.
  • Medications  
    Tell your orthopedic surgeon about the medications you are taking. You may be instructed to discontinue use of certain ones before surgery.
  • Social Planning 
    Though you will be able to walk on crutches or a walker soon after surgery, you will need help for several weeks with such tasks as cooking, shopping, bathing, and laundry. If you live alone, a case manager at CJRI can help you make advance arrangements to have someone assist you at home.
  • Home Planning 
    Make your home easier to navigate during your recovery with:
    • Safety bars, or a secure handrail in the shower or bath
    • Secure handrails along stairways
    • A stable chair for your early recovery. This chair should have a firm back, two arms, and a firm seat cushion that allows your knees to remain lower than your hips
    • A raised toilet seat
    • A stable shower bench or chair for bathing
    • Shower hose
    • Firm pillows to place on chairs, sofa, and car seat --  You need these to keep your knees lower than your hips while seated
    • Removal of all loose carpets and electrical cords from the areas where you walk in your home 

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