How do I prepare myself for the joint replacement surgery?

Joint replacement surgery is usually an elective procedure, so the timing of the procedure is planned in advance. This allows thorough and timely preparations to be made. The success of the surgery and the subsequent healing process depends, to a large extent, on your motivation and cooperation.

‘Fast track’ concept to get moving again quickly

The ‘fast track’ concept has proven itself in numerous other surgical interventions and is now increasingly also being used in joint replacement surgery. The primary goal here is to get you moving as quickly as possible, to help you recover quickly from the surgery and to minimise the risk of any potential complications, such as thrombosis. Depending on the hospital, this reduces the stay in hospital significantly or eliminates the need to stay altogether. Instead of general anaesthetic, there are other options including the use of targeted local anaesthetic, which will enable you to start physiotherapy on day of the surgery itself.

How can I prepare for endoprosthesis surgery?

Joint replacement surgery: Tips for preparation iStock.com/Chris Ryan
  • Try to reduce any excess weight.
  • As far as possible avoid alcohol and cigarettes or at least reduce the amount you drink and smoke.
  • Start physiotherapy and muscle-building exercises prior to the surgery and practice walking using walking aids. This will enable you to strengthen your muscles. Physiotherapy will then be easier for you following surgery and you will regain mobility more quickly. As part of the ‘fast track’ concept, you will be given training on this before the surgery.
  • You should expect to stay in hospital for 3-4 days. For this reason, you should arrange in advance for someone to take care of your pets and plants, and collect your post. If yours is an outpatient procedure, you will not need to stay in hospital. However, you should arrange for support at home in any case.
  • Following your hospital stay, it is recommended that you follow a rehabilitation plan, either inpatient or outpatient, in order to return to everyday life as quickly as possible. You should therefore look into finding a suitable rehab centre at an early stage.