During your consultation/office visit, the relevant surgical procedure will be explained to you in detail. You will be given written information about the procedure. You will also be given a date for your surgery. Please make sure you are at the hospital on time and give enough time to allow for traffic. You will usually be contacted by the hospital to confirm your insurance details. The anesthesiologist will meet with you in hospital to discuss the anesthetic. Thorough and detailed planning will ensure everything goes smoothly. We routinely use sophisticated planning modalities to customize and individualize your joint-replacement surgery. These options will be discussed with you during your consultation.
You will be transferred to recovery by the anesthesiologist and CRNA. The nurses in recovery will ensure all patients have ice packs applied to the surgical area. Mechanical DVT prophylaxis in the form of calf compression devices will be used to prevent blood clots. Any discomfort will be addressed before being transferred to the orthopedic floor or in rare cases to the Intensive Care Unit (patients with very significant pre-surgery medical problems – for overnight observation). Dr. Uggen and his physician assistant will check on you every day after surgery until discharge. Your primary care physician or hospitalist will also see you to manage medical issues. Dedicated orthopedic nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and case managers will also be part of your orthopedic care team during your short hospital stay.
We start to manage pain even before the patient even goes into the operating theatre using a multi-modal regime. You will be given medications with your pre-medications to help decrease the pain response. The anesthesiologist will use a local anaesthetic block (usually a spinal block) for your surgery. Our soft tissue protecting surgical technique and the additional local-anaesthetic wound infiltration will also reduce post-operative pain and swelling. Blood transfusions are rarely needed. Oral medications are also used to control pain and inflammation. With these techniques, narcotics are rarely required for pain relief. Narcotics can have unpleasant side-effects and are best avoided if possible. All patients are usually walking/standing as soon as the spinal block has worn off after surgery.