Hip Replacement Pre-surgery Planning & Timeline

Hip replacement is usually scheduled weeks in advance. Use this time wisely. There is a lot you can do before surgery to make your recovery at home go smoothly. Keep a list of questions and make notes about what your appointment times and to do list. Here is a checklist of basic steps for getting ready for your surgery. Print this list out and check off items as you do them. Add new to-do items if they come up.

6 weeks before surgery

  • Make arrangements for any help you will need when you get home. If possible, get someone to stay with you for the first few days or a week. Make sure you have someone that can run errands to the pharmacy or grocery store, or to take you to the doctor.
  • Schedule your pre-op hospital visit.
  • Call your insurance company and go over your coverage with them. Make sure you know what they will pay for and what you will pay for. Also, ask about any special equipment you will need to see if it is covered by your insurance.
  • Start doing your strengthening exercises. This will make it easier for you when you get home.
  • Start eating a well balanced diet.
  • If you are a smoker, stop. Talk with your surgeon before using nicotine replacement products such as a patch, gum, or cigarette substitute. Nicotine slows down healing and these products have nicotine in them.
  • Go to the dentist if you haven’t been in the last year.
  • If you have any questions that come up, write them down and ask them at your pre-op visit. For questions about surgery, call your surgeon’s office.
Prosthetic hip joint

Prosthetic hip joint

3 weeks before surgery

  • Go to your pre-op visit at the hospital.
  • Have a pre-op exam by your regular doctor if your surgeon requested it.
  • Start getting your home ready. Put firm pillows in your favorite places to sit. Put up signs to remind you of your hip precautions.
  • Stock up on easy-to-cook meals.
  • If you have a pet, make arrangements for someone to keep it or arrange for boarding.
  • If no one will be home while you are gone, arrange for your mail and newspapers to stop or have a neighbor collect them up for you.
  • Keep doing your strengthening exercises.

1 week before surgery

  • Make sure you have something comfortable to wear to the hospital.
  • Talk to your regular doctor and your surgeon about medicines you take everyday. Find out of there are any you should stop taking between now and surgery.
  • Keep doing your strengthening exercises.
  • Begin learning your breathing exercises and practice them every day.
  • Let your surgeon know about any changes in your help such as a cold, flu, or skin infection.

The day before surgery

  • Make sure you have something comfortable to wear to the hospital.
  • Pack up everything you need to take to the hospital. Don’t forget your medicines and your list of questions if you still have some. Don’t take anything of value or wear jewelry.
  • Make sure the person who is taking you to the hospital tomorrow knows when to pick you up and what time you need to be at the hospital.
  • Follow any instructions you have been given about eating, taking your medicines or bathing.

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