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Preparing for your Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery

Preparing for Hip or Knee Surgery

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Joint replacement Questionnaire

The Oxford Knee Score and Oxford Hip Score are patient-reported outcome measures specifically designed and developed to assess function and pain after Knee Replacement  or Hip Replacement surgery.  All patients attending for Hip and Knee replacement surgery are requested to complete the relevant questionnaire both before the surgery, and repeated again 6 months after the surgery. A link to an online version of the relevant questionnaire is sent to you via text once your surgery has been scheduled and again sent to repeat 6 months after the surgery.

Please complete the questionnaire when you receive the text via the link attached. Completing the questionnaire takes approximately 5-10 minutes.

If you have any further queries regarding the questionnaire, please contact physiotherapy@beaconhospital.ie with the heading “Oxford score query”.

Nursing Pre-Op Talk

Physio Talk for Hip and Knee Replacement

Exercises for Knee Replacement

Exercises for Hip Replacement

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do before the surgery?

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can be beneficial to practice the exercises in the booklet prior to coming to hospital. This will help you become more familiar with them and make them easier for you after your surgery.

How long will I stay in hospital?

on average your length of stay will be 3 – 4 days

Will I need convalescence?

Some people, especially those living alone, will need some form of convalescence after their discharge from hospital based on what level of support they have at home.  It is advisable you arrange this a few weeks before your surgery, as it can be difficult to get a place at short notice.  

 

Should I stop taking any of my medications prior to my surgery?

You will get instructions on this from the nurse during your pre-operative assessment.

 

What do I need to bring to hospital?

Bring your clothing, (a mix of day clothes and nightwear), flat closed heel shoes, preferably not laced, reading glasses & toiletries. We advise that you avoid bringing valuables into the hospital with you as you will have to remove all jewellery before going into your surgery. Unless you have been told otherwise, please bring any medication that you take regularly other than your painkillers.

 

What clothes should I bring?

Bring a mix of day clothes and pyjamas. We encourage that you get dressed during the day. Wear loose clothing that will be easy for you to complete your exercises. Shoes to be closed back, low heel and if possible, slip on. We advise to bring shoes that are half a size bigger to accommodate any swelling after your surgery

 

Will I have pain after my surgery?

The main goal of treatment is to alleviate pain. There will be some pain from the surgery to start with, but you can expect to notice a benefit very soon after the operation. After recovery, you should have greater mobility and a better quality of life. If you feel your pain is increasing, let the staff know so we can look after you. It is important for your pain to be controlled in order to achieve your physiotherapy goals. When you go home you will be given a prescription for pain medication and the nursing staff will explain that to you before you leave. Ice will also help with your pain and swelling. We encourage you to use ice 5-7 times a day both in hospital and at home after you are discharged.

Use the ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Ensure there is a good layer of clothing between your skin and the ice, do not place the ice directly on the skin. If you feel any burning or blistering sensation, stop the ice- it might be too cold.

Knees: we will provide you with an ice band which wraps around your knee, you can take this home with you

Hips: while in hospital we will use bags of ice, at home a bag of peas in a pillow case. We recommend you move the ice around the hip, down towards your knee and the inside of your leg.

Will I see a physiotherapist after my operation?

Yes, where possible the physiotherapist will come and see you on the day of your surgery, if not your rehabilitation will begin on the first day after your operation and continue until discharge.

 

Your physiotherapist will:

      • Teach you your exercises
      • Guide you with getting in and out of bed
      • Teach you how to walk with crutches
      • Practice the stairs with you
      • Provide advice about pain management, use of ice
      • Provide advice regarding follow up rehabilitation for when you go home

How often should I do the exercises?

Exercises should be completed 3 times a day, no more than 15 repetitions and this should continue after you go home

How far should I walk?

Each day you will increase your walking as is comfortable. We recommend a “little and often” approach or to pace your activities. At home walking will be your main form of activity so gradually increase your distance day by day as is comfortable for you

When can I start showering after my surgery?

You will normally be able to start showering 2-3 days after your surgery.

How often should I ice after surgery?

You should apply ice to the surgical area at least 5-7 times a day for 15-20 minutes both in hospital and at home. Ensure there is a good layer of clothing between your skin and the ice, do not place the ice directly on the skin. If you feel any burning or blistering sensation, stop the ice- it might be too cold.

If I have no pain, should I still use the ice?

Yes, ice will continue to help reduce the swelling after your surgery and is beneficial to continue its use for up to 6-12 weeks after your surgery. We recommend you use the ice for 15 minutes after you have completed your exercises, returned from a walk, first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night

If I have no pain, do I still need to use the crutches?

Yes, we recommend that you use your crutches until your physiotherapy review so we can assess your gait pattern. 

Will I be able to go up/down stairs?

Yes, we will practice stairs during your admission

Will I need to follow up with physiotherapy after I go home?

Yes, we recommend that you follow up with physiotherapy for progression of your exercises / wean your walking aid. You can attend us here at Beacon, complete a video consult or go to your local physio. 

(Hips physiotherapy follow up at 3 weeks, knees 1-2 weeks)

What movements should I avoid my hip surgery?

For the first 6-12 weeks there are 3 movements you should avoid

  1. Crossing your operated leg across midline
  2. Twisting
  3. Bending your hip past 90 degrees

 

  • Preferably you will be getting in and out of bed on the same side as your operated leg
  • When walking/ turning, avoid twisting or swivelling on your operated leg
  • Avoid turning your operated leg in or out
  • When sitting, ensure that your hip is higher than your knee, you may need to prop your chair at home with cushions to increase the height
  • Avoid lifting your leg straight off the bed with leg straight

Do I have to buy any equipment in advance of my surgery?

Knees – we will provide you crutches, long handled shoe horn, ice band

Hips – we will provide you with crutches, long handled shoe horn / sock applicator, grab stick and raised toilet seat.

How often should I change my dressings after joint surgery?

Your dressing will be changed prior to discharge. You should then only need to change it once between discharge and getting your sutures / clips removed. If the dressing gets soak with ooze or water, it will also need changing. If you find you are having to change it frequently, please contact the Centre for Orthopaedics.

What do I do if I need more painkillers at home?

We advise all patients to follow up with their GP if they require additional pain relief after discharge.

My hip and / or my knee is bruised, is this normal?

Bruising at the surgical site is normal for a few days after your surgery.  This may track down the leg also due to the effect of gravity.

How soon after my surgery can I restart sports e.g. golf, swimming?

Not until the consultant has cleared you to, but it will at least six weeks. 

How long do I need to wear the compression stockings?

Unless instructed otherwise by your consultant, you will be wearing these for 6 weeks. You can take them off for hygiene needs but otherwise they should be worn at all times for this period.

What are the “Oxford Score Questionnaires”?

The Oxford Knee Score (OKS) & the Oxford Hip Score (OHS) are 2, 12-item patient-reported outcomes (PRO) specifically designed and developed to assess function and pain after Total Knee Replacement (TKR) or Total Hip Replacement surgeryAll patients attending for Hip and Knee replacement surgery are requested to complete he relevant questionnaire both before the surgery, and repeated again 6 months after the surgery. A link to an online version of the relevant questionnaire is sent to you via text once your surgery has been scheduled and again for the second one, 6 months after the surgery.

Please complete the questionnaire when you receive the text via the link attached. Completing the questionnaire takes approximately 5-10 minutes.  The results are made available to your consultant in your medical chart. You can discuss this further with them during your outpatient visits. If you have any further queries regarding the questionnaire, please speak to your consultant or contact physiotherapy@beaconhospital.ie with the heading “Oxford score query”.