Joint Replacement FAQ
Planning for Joint Replacement Surgery
Do I need to provide insurance information to KSRC prior to my surgery?
Much of your insurance information comes from your physician's office. Many times, this is all the information we need. Should we need anything further, our Business Office will contact you approximately a week before surgery. However, please bring your insurance card with you the day of surgery.
What should I do if I have questions about Medicare/insurance coverage for my procedure?
If you have any questions about coverage for your procedure, please feel free to contact our Business Office Manager at 634-0090 and she will be happy to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can.
Do you accept Visa and Mastercard?
Yes we do.
Preparing for Surgery
Should I take my medications the morning of surgery?
If you are taking heart or blood pressure medication, please take your regular morning dose on the morning of surgery unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. If you are taking insulin, normally we ask that you take one-half your regular dose on the morning of surgery. However, again, please check with your physician. Please discontinue any other medications two weeks before surgery, and certainly do not take them the morning of surgery, unless instructed by your doctor. Bring your home medications with you in their original, labeled bottles on the day of surgery because we refer to these bottles so we can accurately order these medications and resume their administration after your surgery.
Can I eat, drink or smoke the day of my surgery?
Please do not eat, drink or smoke on the day of surgery. If you must take a medication on the morning your surgery is scheduled, please just have a small sip of water to wash it down.
What should I do with my suitcase when I come in?
Leave your suitcase and belongings in the car when you come in to register. When we get you settled in your room after surgery, then your family or friends can bring your suitcases to your room. Please leave all valuables at home.
Which is better - general or spinal anesthesia?
Both types of anesthesia are safe and effective. Some doctors prefer one or another.
If I have spinal anesthetic, will I be aware of what's going on?
Before surgery, many people tell us that they would not have spinal anesthesia because they don't want to know what is going on during surgery. We can give you supplemental medication that sedates you to a point that eliminates this problem.
Will I have to have a spinal anesthetic?
No. We may make a suggestion on a preference for anesthesia, but we will always respect your wishes. We will not force you to have a spinal anesthetic.
Medications before Surgery
I'm taking an herbal product. Do I need to discontinue it?
Yes. Some herbal products can cause major problems during surgery. We are learning more about these products as they become more widely used. St. John's wort and gingko biloba are two herbal products that can definitely cause major problems with blood pressure during surgery. Because herbal products are sold over-the-counter and are largely unregulated, it is difficult for us to know their dosage. We expect you to discontinue all herbal products two weeks before surgery, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.
Should I stop taking my vitamins?
Generally, you can continue taking your vitamins but if they contain additional herbal products, please discontinue them. Again, if you have questions, consult your physician's office.
I'm diabetic. Should I discontinue insulin?
No. Please continue taking your insulin. We usually have diabetic patients take half their normal dose of insulin on the morning of their surgery. We then monitor your blood sugar preoperatively, during and after surgery, giving sugar supplements if needed.
Should I keep taking my blood pressure or heart medicine?
Please continue your blood pressure and/or heart medication.
What are the implants made of and how much do they weigh?
total hip: acetabular shell - tivanium alloy acetabular insert - polyethylene femoral stem - metal alloy femoral head - vitallum or zimaloy alloy total weight - 1.4 lbs.
total knee: femoral component - vitallum or zimaloy alloy tibial baseplate - vitallum or tivanium alloy tibial insert - polyethylene patella - polyethylene total weight - 1.6 lbs.
total shoulder: hemi-partial replacement ball - cobalt chrome total weight - 1.0 lbs.
Do the implants set off the airport alarms?
Implants do not set off the metal detector alarms at most airports. Some international airports have more sensitive devices and the implant will cause an alarm.
Will I have pain medication after surgery?
Yes. You will probably receive a nerve block following a knee replacement to control your pain. This will happen in the recovery room. Your pain will be managed through IV medication and/or oral medications the first night and oral medication throughout your stay. The doctor and nurse will work with you to control your pain while you are here. You will also get a prescription for pain medicine for after you leave KSRC.
How long will I take pain medication?
Most people go home on pain pills after a joint replacement procedure. Your doctor may also give you an anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Average length of stay for patients who have had a total knee or a total hip replacement is 2-3 nights.
Average length of stay for patients who have had a total shoulder replacement is 1-2 nights.
What type of clothes should I bring?
Men should bring shorts and t-shirts and short pajamas. Women should bring shorts and t-shirts and short pajamas or gowns. No floor length gowns or long pajamas are recommended.
When will I start getting out of bed?
This is dependent on your surgeon’s preference and what time you have surgery. Some patients will be getting out of bed in the afternoon the day of surgery. All other patients will be getting out of bed the next morning following a total knee or total hip procedure.
Can children visit?
Yes, but they must be well behaved, well supervised and they must be physically well.
Should I bring my home medications with me to the hospital?
Yes. Bring them in their original pharmacy container.
What kinds of activities will I do in physical therapy?
We will work with you on getting out of bed safely, transferring, walking with a walker safely, and of course, increasing movement in your new joint.
Will my physical therapy be in my room?
KSRC differs from a hospital setting in that most of your physical therapy is done in your room. We do have a set of stairs for you to practice on, and we will help you with getting in and out of a car.
Does the therapist decide when I can go home?
The therapist and nurses will communicate and give recommendations to your doctor regarding your level of function and when it is safe for you to go home.
What should I do to prepare my home?
Some good ideas include removing knick-knacks that might get knocked off of furniture, and removing throw rugs that could trip you up. Before surgery, it may be wise to rearrange furniture so that you have enough space to get through with a walker.
How long will I be using a walker?
Patients who have had hip or knee replacement generally use a walker for four to six weeks.
Where can I get medical supplies to use when I get home?
You can purchase these items from any medical supply company. You can purchase these before surgery, or a family member or friend can get them before you go home.