Once you have chosen to undergo surgery there are many opportunities to become educated about your surgery and postoperative care. Educational materials are provided within all the centres across Canada that complete hip and knee replacement surgery. Written materials are usually provided and many healthcare organizations provide pre-operative educational sessions with a nurse, physiotherapist, OT and/or social worker.
During these sessions, patients are encouraged to ask questions and participate in open discussion. The educational information will have information on:
- the basic procedure
- the hospital process for day of surgery and follow up care
- discharge planning process and how to set up prepare your home for your recovery including what equipment your will need to purchase or rent
Following the surgery there will be a plan for rehabilitation that will include walking and becoming independent in day to day normal activities such as washing and toileting.
Patient that have had a knee replacement will also be given a number of exercises to perform to regain the movement in the knee. This will often be done under the direction of a physiotherapist or other health care professional; however patients are responsible for following these directions and completing their rehabilitation program. As such, patients are given a self directed program to complete to promote their recovery and may be asked to sign a contract.
You can find additional information on how to be prepared for hip and knee replacement surgery at the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation website at www.canorth.org and on the My Joint Replacement web site www.myjointreplacement.ca which is hosted by The Arthritis Society. For additional questions prior to surgery the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation also provide an Ortho Connect service which links you up with a person who has already been through the procedure who is available to provide you with specific information about their experience and answer general questions.