Leaving the Hospital

Leaving the Hospital can sometimes be scary because your recovery is not complete. Some days you will feel that you have made great progress and other days will be harder.

Daily Guidelines

In general, the guidelines below will apply whether you are going directly home or to an extended-care facility. Your health care team will also provide you with additional instructions depending on the type of surgery. In the first week after leaving the Hospital, please follow these daily guidelines:

  • Take all your medications.
  • Continue your exercise routine on your own or with a physical therapist.
  • Take pain medicine as needed, especially before exercising.
  • Follow instructions for wound care. 
  • Drink plenty of liquids and eat healthy foods. 
  • You may be advised to take daily doses of iron to build up your blood because it is common to be somewhat anemic after joint replacement surgery.

Signs and Symptoms to Report

Any of the signals listed below can be of concern. If you experience any of the following when you go home, call your surgeon.

  • Temperature greater than 101°
  • Signs of infection (redness, swelling, draining wound, increasing pain)
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Bruising easily

Getting Back to Your Usual Activities

During the first few weeks at home, you can adapt what you learned at the Hospital to your own setting. You should continue to increase your walking distance.

Most people feel very tired when they leave the Hospital. For this reason, it is best to pace yourself as you return to your daily routine. If you feel tired, take a short morning or afternoon nap. As you recover, your energy will increase. You cannot do everything yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help with daily tasks such as grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning. Take care of yourself. Try to find ways to be good to yourself during this time.

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