Your Surgery

Your Surgery Post-op

What you need to know

Going into surgery can be a daunting experience and post-surgery can be a little disorientating. There are a few things that you will need to know immediately following your surgery. The first is in regards to discharge. You will need to meet the following criteria before you can be discharged post-op:

  • Your pain is well controlled with oral medications 
  • Your dressing is dry and without concern
  • You have been seen by a physiotherapist and deemed safe to mobilise independently
  • Your bladder and bowels must be working

“There are a few additional criteria specific to each operation. Have a read of the factsheets and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions – that’s what I’m here for,” says Dr Rhys Clark.

Total knee replacement post-op

The nurses and the physiotherapist are very experienced and will be able to guide you on when your likely discharge will be. You should organise a family member to take you home on the day of discharge. Generally, you will stay in hospital for two – four nights after a knee replacement. Sometimes there is a requirement to stay a little longer for extra physiotherapy in a rehabilitation ward.

While in hospital a physiotherapist would have seen you and given you some exercises to complete at home. It is very important you complete these exercises as it will lead to a quicker recovery and better long-term results.

Anterior hip replacement post-op

As you have had a total hip replacement done via the anterior approach you have no precautions post-operative. You are safe to sleep on your side, front, back and bend as far forward as you like.

“A physiotherapist will give you exercises to do at home three times a day. This will help the joint move and also build up the muscles that support the joint. Then, at your two-week review, we will discuss your ongoing physio support to give you the very best outcomes.”

Knee arthroscopy post-op

Knee arthroscopy (putting the telescopes inside the knee) is a day procedure. The procedure itself only takes 15 – 30 minutes and you can usually go home four – six hours after coming into hospital.

After your procedure you will wake up in the recovery room; once recovered, you will be moved to the lounge where you can eat and drink.

“While you’re in the lounge, I will usually come and have a chat about how your procedure went. Once you’ve had something to eat and your pain is controlled, you will then be discharged and continue your recovery at home.”

ACL reconstruction post-op

An ACL reconstruction requires a single overnight admission. Usually you will be discharged prior to 10am the morning after your procedure with a splint on your knee and crutches. The splint on your leg helps your knee get out straight after the procedure and offers some stability to the knee as the muscles are recovering. For the first five days you are to remain mostly in the splint; however, it is ideal if you can come out of the splint three times a day to perform some basic physiotherapy.

Once you are home it is a good idea to take it easy and rest for the next two days, to allow your knee to recover.

Removal of lesion post-op

Once you have had your lesion removed, you will wake up in the recovery room. And, once recovered, you will be moved to the lounge where you can eat and drink. Ensuring that your pain is controlled, and you have been able to have something to eat and drink, you will be discharged. Please keep in mind that you will need someone to pick you up from the hospital as you will not be able to drive.

If the lesion removal requires an overnight stay, you will wake up in the recovery room and then be transferred to the ward. Normally you will spend one night in the ward and then be discharged the next morning before 10am.