Request Information 877.747.9991

Day of Surgery

The day of your surgery will be a busy one. Please remember not to eat or drink anything, including mints or gum, after midnight the evening prior to your surgery. There may be several hours that pass between the time you check into the hospital and the time that your surgery is completed. Your family and coach should be prepared for a few hours wait.

It is important that you arrive at the hospital with plenty of time to check in and prepare for surgery. You will be instructed on your expected arrival time.

Wear comfortable clothes. Avoid wearing cologne, perfume, or fragrances of any kind. Deodorants, creams, lotions and shaving creams should be avoided. Do not wear makeup or nail polish.

When you arrive, you should plan to park in designated patient parking areas or use our free valet service. For your convenience, a map is provided at the back of this guide.

Surgery Preparation

After you check in at registration, you will be directed to the surgical preparation area. A wristband will be applied at this time. If you have any allergies, an additional wristband will be applied. It is important for you to verify that all information on your identification bracelet is correct. We will be asking you to confirm this information many times throughout your hospital stay as one way of ensuring your safety.

Once you’ve determined that your identification bracelet is correct, you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown. Your clothes and any items you brought with you will be placed in a bag with your name on it.

Just before surgery, a nurse will review your medical records, take your vital signs, perform a brief physical exam, clean the surgical site, and make sure everything is in order. Sometimes, additional tests may need to be performed.

As surgery approaches, a nurse will start an IV. This allows medication and fluids to flow directly into your bloodstream.

Your orthopedic surgeon or physician assistant and the anesthesiologist will visit you in the pre-op holding area prior to surgery. Among other things, your surgeon or physician assistant will ask you to identify which knee is being operated on and will mark the surgical site with a special marker. Your anesthesiologist will ask you a number of questions to help determine the best anesthesia for you.

Family Waiting

On the morning of surgery, your coach, family member or friend will be able to stay with you until you’re ready to be transported to the operating room. At this point, they will be escorted to a family waiting area where they will wait for approximately two hours while you have your surgery.

Once your knee replacement is complete, a member of the surgical team will contact your coach, spouse, family member or friend. At this point, they will be able to speak with your surgeon to discuss your procedure.


General information

Your anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist will meet you before surgery. At that time, the anesthesiologist will examine you, discuss your medical history, and determine the best plan for your anesthetic care. It is important that you tell your anesthesiologist of any prior problems or difficulties you have had with anesthesia.

Your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the various anesthetic options, as well as the potential side effects that can occur with each. Any time you have surgery and anesthesia there is a chance that you may experience some nausea and vomiting. However, medications are available to treat both and are routinely given ahead of time to try to prevent these symptoms.

Spinal Anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia, sometimes called spinal block, involves the injection of a medication into the sack that holds the spinal fluid. It will numb the body below the chest, so it is often used for surgeries to hips and knees. You will receive sedation and a local anesthetic injection to numb the skin prior to giving the spinal anesthetic. You may not be able to feel or move your legs until the anesthetic wears off. This effect sometimes lasts for several hours, so it is important that you do not try to walk until your physical therapist determines you are ready.

The Operating Room

Inside the operating room, you will be cared for by a team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and skilled technicians. The total time required for your surgery will be different from patient to patient depending on the complexity of your procedure. Generally, most joint replacement surgeries last between one to two hours, including preparation time.


After surgery, you will be transported to an area called the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU ) or recovery room. You will spend approximately one hour in the PACU while you recover from the effects of anesthesia.

  • Nurses will check your vital signs – such as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate – and monitor your progress. They will also start your ice therapy.
  • Pain medications will be provided through your IV as needed.
  • Nurses will check your bandages, check drainage from your surgical site, and encourage you to take deep breaths. They will also apply foot compression devices to help with circulation.
  • After your stay in the PACU, you will be moved to your hospital room in the Coon Joint Replacement Institute to begin your recovery.
  • Do not try to walk until your physical therapist determines you are ready.

What to Expect after Surgery

Once you have arrived in your room, nurses will assess you and continue to monitor you frequently until you are stable. You will notice a bandage on your knee and a tube that drains fluid away from your joint. Additionally, you may have a small tube inserted into your bladder, called a catheter, so you do not have to get out of bed to urinate. You can also expect to have a compression pump on your feet. This pump will squeeze your legs at regular intervals to circulate blood and to help prevent clotting. If you do not feel the compression, be sure to let your nurse know.

You will have a special wrap for ice therapy on your surgical site continuously for up to 24 hours after surgery. You will take this machine home with you.

Once your vital signs are stable and you have regained movement and sensation in your lower extremities, your physical therapist may assist you to sit at the edge of the bed, stand, and walk.

Managing Your Pain

The amount of pain and discomfort you experience depends on multiple factors. You will receive pain medication through your IV after surgery and by mouth once you are recovering in the Coon Joint Replacement Institute. Your physicians and nurses will do everything possible to relieve your pain and discomfort using medications and other techniques.

Communication is an important part of helping us manage your pain. We encourage you to share information with your nurses about any pain you experience. Be as specific as possible. For example, where is the pain? How often do you feel pain? What does the pain feel like: is it sharp, dull, aching, spreading out? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the worst pain imaginable, how would you rate your pain?

For most patients, the spinal anesthetic wears off after four to five hours. When this occurs, you will start taking pain medications by mouth. Arrange to take your pain pills approximately 30 minutes prior to doing your exercises to help control the soreness that often accompanies activity in the first few days after surgery.

Additional Medications

You can expect to receive IV antibiotics the first day of your hospital stay, as well as medications for pain and medications to prevent blood clots, called anticoagulants. Sometimes, patients may feel nauseous or constipated. Both symptoms can be managed with medication, so it is important that you talk with your nurse if you do not feel well.

Early Ambulation

You may walk with the assistance of a physical therapist when it has been determined that you are stable and have regained feeling and movement in your legs. Your physical therapist will help you begin your exercise routine. These exercises are designed to help increase strength and flexibility in the joint. Ultimately, the goal is for you to bend your knee at least 90 degrees and perform activities of daily living, such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of a bed and up and down from a chair or toilet. In order to ensure maximum success, it is important that you follow physical therapy instructions both while you are in the hospital and after you are discharged from the hospital.

While in the hospital, you will be treated individually by your physical therapy team member to work on walking, strength and range of motion.

Deep Breathing, Coughing, and the Incentive Spirometer

You will receive a device called an incentive spirometer. The spirometer helps you fully expand your lungs and keeps them active in order to prevent chest congestion. You may practice coughing after using the incentive spirometer to make sure that your lungs are clear.

Stop joint pain and get back to life!

Request More Information

Call 877.747.9991 to speak with a Patient Service Advisor, or fill out the form and we’ll contact you soon.

The Coon Joint Replacement Institute values your privacy and handles your personal information with care. Your email address and information is secure, confidential and will not be sold to any third party sources.

AHI Rebrand

To talk with someone immediately, call 877.747.9991

The Coon Joint Replacement Institute values your privacy and handles your personal information with care. Your email address and information is secure, confidential and will not be sold to any third party sources.

AHI Rebrand