Frequently Asked Questions about Surgery

How long will I be in hospital?

The typical length of stay in hospital after joint replacement surgery is 1-2 days.

Will I have increased chance of bleeding after surgery?

After surgery, you will placed on blood thinning medication to prevent the formation of blood clots. While you are on this medication, you may bruise more easily and cuts may take longer to stop bleeding.

What happens if I am on blood thinning medication before surgery?

If you already take a medication for blood thinning such as Coumadin® (warfarin), you will resume this drug after surgery. The day after surgery you will be put on a combination of Fragmin® and Coumadin® initially because the Coumadin® will take a few days to start working again.

Will I see the orthopaedic surgeon after the surgery?

Yes. Your orthopaedic surgeon will see you in hospital to make sure you are doing well after surgery and that you are progressing well enough to return home. You will also be given an appointment time to see your surgeon again 6 weeks after surgery.

How long will I be under anesthesia?

You will be under anesthesia for approximately 2 hours.

What is the infection rate?

The rate of infection is approximately 0.5%.

How long is the entire recovery period?

Most patients find the first two weeks after surgery to be the most difficult in terms of pain and general function. Patients generally see the biggest improvements during the first 12 weeks after surgery, but may continue to see gradual gains for 6-12 months. It is generally accepted that it takes up to 1 year before you can fully measure your outcome after surgery.

Will my surgery decision change the way I look?

After surgery, you will have a 20-30 cm scar along the outside of your hip or along the front of your knee. For the most part, people will not be able to look at you and know you had joint replacement surgery.

For more information and additional questions, visit the Frequently Asked Questions web page