Our services: After surgery

Rehabilitation timeline

The following is a typical progression of your recovery. Remember that everyone is unique and might not follow this timeline precisely.

Day of surgery

  • You will feel drowsy after surgery.
  • You will stay in bed. However, you will be asked to roll off of your backside every few hours to help prevent bedsores. You should also pump your ankles up and down often to assist with circulation.
  • The nurse will check on you frequently to monitor your vital signs and pain, as well as to encourage you to work on deep breathing.
  • Equipment such as surgical drains, foot pumps, elastic stockings and an IV will be connected to you.
  • If needed, you may be receiving oxygen.
  • You will be on a liquid diet and will receive IV fluids.
  • You will have an ice pack on the affected joint several times a day.
  • Discharge planning for when you will go home or to a rehabilitation facility will begin.
  • If your surgery is early, you may have a physical therapy and/or occupational therapy evaluation.

First day after surgery

  • You will still be connected to the foot pumps and IV, and you will still wear the compression stockings.
  • Continue working on deep breathing and ankle pumps.
  • You can begin with a normal diet, though loss of appetite is common.
  • A physical therapist will help you get in and out of bed and a chair, and teach you how to walk with a walker and begin some gentle exercises. You will be instructed in any specific precautions you may need to be aware of.
  • An occupational therapist will teach you how to perform typical daily activities such as showering, dressing and toileting. Equipment needs, such as a shower chair or raised toilet seat, will be determined.
  • Discharge planning will continue.

Day two after surgery and discharge day

  • Continue to work on deep breathing and ankle pumps.
  • You will be weaned off of IV pain medication to rely more on oral pain medications. Your pain should be reasonably controlled with oral medication and ice.
  • Your dressing will be changed to a dressing that allows you to shower. You and your family will be instructed in how to change this dressing at home one week later.
  • You should be eating a regular diet.
  • You should be urinating and moving your bowels normally. If not, please tell the nursing staff.
  • Your physical therapist will continue to work with you on walking, stairs, and exercise. You should be able to demonstrate your exercise program. Occupational therapy will continue with activities of daily living.
  • Discharge instructions and your follow-up appointment date will be reviewed.
  • Home Health Physical Therapy will start the day after discharge.

First week after hospital discharge

  • Home Health PT will start the day after discharge from the hospital.
  • If you are on Coumadin, you will need to have your blood drawn several times to adjust the dose as needed.
  • Continue all exercises that you were taught in the hospital.
  • Increase your walking distance as tolerated using your walker. Your balance will improve with walking practice.
  • Take your pain medication as needed, plus continue to use an ice pack for 10-15 minutes several times a day.
  • Continue wearing your compression hose on both legs.
  • Check your temperature daily, especially when feeling hot or chilled. If needed, you will have an appointment with physical therapy (home health or outpatient).

Weeks two and three

  • You will see your surgeon and have any staples or sutures removed.
  • Continue with blood draws as directed.
  • Continue with physical therapy (if needed), as well as exercise and walking at home.

Weeks four to six

Continue with physical therapy (if needed). Your goals are to walk without a cane or a walker with good balance and without a limp, to have good strength in your legs, and be independent in your home exercise program.

You will have a follow-up visit with your surgeon. You will have an x-ray done. You can discuss driving a car if you have complete control over your operated limb and are off narcotics.

First year and then every one to two years

Have a follow-up visit with your surgeon. You will have an x-ray done. If you have problems between appointments, please follow up with your surgeon sooner.

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Contact us: Day Surgery, 541.677.2445; Surgery, 541.677.2443