Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Packing Your Bags

Make sure to take these things with you to the hospital:

  • Exercise shoes with closed-in heel and non-slip soles
  • Knee length robe or cover-up for walking in the halls
  • Grooming items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • A list of medications you are currently taking at home, including the name, strength and how often you take each medication
  • Papers from the blood bank if you have donated your own blood
  • A list of allergies (to food, clothing,medicine, etc.) and how you react to each one
  • Any education materials you received in pre-admission classes
  • A copy of your Living Will and Health Care Power-of-Attorney, if you have either one. Hospital personnel are required by law to ask for these when you are admitted. They will make a copy for your medical record and return the original.
  • A copy of your insurance card
  • A walker if you already have one, and a list of other adaptive equipment you may have at home with your name on all equipment you take to the hospital
  • Glasses, hearing aid, and any other items you use every day
  • Short gowns, pajamas, underwear, socks/stockings and one set of street clothes to wear home
  • Leave jewelry, credit cards, keys and checkbooks home. Bring only enough money for items such as a newspaper,magazine, etc.

Hip Safety Precautions

Once you have a new hip, you will need to follow some safety rules. This will help you heal faster and keep your new hip from dislocating. One of these rules is to always sit with your knees lower than your hips. So before surgery, check around your house to see if you need to adapt anything by sitting:

  • On the side of your bed
  • In your favorite chair
  • On the sofa
  • On the toilet
  • In the seat of your car

If your knees are not lower than your hips in any of those situations, you will need to change the height by making accommodations such as propping up with pillows or buying a raised toilet seat.