Total Joint Surgery

Preparing for Joint Surgery

If you are contemplating a total knee or hip replacement, we want to help you achieve the best outcome possible. The planning and preparation for a total joint surgery can span several weeks or months, depending on your overall health and your needs for care after the surgery.

Smokers will be encouraged to quit smoking before surgery. Studies show a direct link between smoking and the healing process and the increased risk of infection. We work with your primary care physician and other specialists to get conditions like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions under control before, during, and after surgery.

As a part of the preparation for surgery, we will work with you to develop a plan for care after you go home from the hospital. Social support is a must after joint replacement. We encourage you to discuss this with your family before surgery to find the best solutions for your personal needs. In addition to social support, postoperative physical therapy is a critical component of the overall success of your joint replacement. Various mechanisms exist for delivering these services, from home health physical therapy to the outpatient office, many of which reside in the same building as your surgeon.

After Total Joint Surgery

Now that you have a prosthetic joint, there are some safety tips that we, as your surgeons at Gulf Orthopaedics, would like you to remember.

Any procedure or infection that could result in bacteria entering your blood could cause your new joint to become infected and cause problems ranging from pain to loosening or failure, requiring additional surgery. Examples of conditions to be cautious of include dental work, bowel, bladder, prostate procedures, and any significant infections such as pneumonia or urinary infections. Please consult your surgeon regarding the use of prophylactic antibiotics.

Some surgeons recommend that you have an X-ray of the prosthesis each year so that the plastic wear and condition of your joint can be monitored. Total joint survivorship (aka how long it last) is well over 90% beyond 20 years, although it can vary and should be monitored periodically.

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