Prior to admission you will be contacted by the pre-assessment nurse who will arrange an appropriate date for your assessment. This involves several simple investigations aimed to ensure you are fit for surgery.
To reduce risks, this is a good time to consider stopping smoking and if necessary lose weight.
Those patients on the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy should discuss stopping this prior to surgery to reduce risks of venous thrombosis.
Most patients are admitted on the morning of surgery. A final chat with Mr Ward and an assessment by the Anaesthetist before surgery, changing into a gown and checking in by the ward nurse and you will be ready for theatre.
Choice of anaesthetic will be discussed with your anaesthetist. The vast majority of patients opt for a spinal or epidural block and sedation, remaining blissfully unaware of the whole procedure.
Surgery lasts about 90 minutes and then you will return to your room once the recovery staff are happy you are comfortable and sufficiently awake.
Relatives often visit around lunchtime, and the rest of the day is spent in bed.
Having removed a small wound drain you will be helped out of bed by the physio and start to use your new hip/knee.
Beginning to mobilise more confidently the physios will “encourage” you to join them in the hydrotherapy pool.
Once the wound is dry and the physios feel you are safe, usually having managed a small flight of steps, your discharge will be anticipated. Every patient is different and length of stay will vary from 2 to 7 days.
Many patients elect to continue their Hydrotherapy as out-patients over the coming weeks.
Prior to discharge you will be given a date for a six week follow up with Mr Ward.
Prior to this 6 weeks you will be asked to continue to wear anti embolic stockings and to take precautions against hip dislocation, such as sleeping on your back.
By six weeks most patients can discard their stick, return to driving, lie on their side and in many cases return to work.
Whilst patients differ, the majority will be walking a mile or more by six weeks and may have some minor tenderness over the operative site only.
The six week check is an excellent chance to go over any queries or questions with Mr Ward, and also allows him to remind you of the does and don’ts of looking after your new hip/knee in the future.