Orthopedic Services

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery is a major decision, and now that you’ve made the choice to have orthopedic surgery in Atlanta, it's our job to make sure everything goes smoothly. The team members of the Joint Solutions Center will work with you and your doctor to make sure you know exactly what to expect before, during, and after your hip or knee replacement.

Joint Replacement and Orthopedic Surgery Schedule

There are many things you can do to prepare yourself emotionally and physically for a successful orthopedic surgery experience. Using the following suggested timelines, we can help you put together all the pieces so you’ll have peace of mind going into and coming out of orthopedic surgery in Atlanta.

4-6 Weeks before Joint Replacement Surgery

Begin your pre-operative exercise program if prescribed by your doctor. Our Joint Care Manager will review these joint care exercises with you in detail during the Pre-Operative education class or you can follow the routines here. Only exercise to your comfort level.

Select Your Coach

Your personal Coach will play an important support role in the delivery of your care and recovery. Coaches are selected by you -- the patient -- and typically are a close friend or family member.

Your Coach’s role is simple. To help motivate and support you so your surgery is a success. Their job is to help you remember all the little details that your doctors and the recovery team will tell you. Your Coach will also accompany you to group physical therapy in the Joint Gym, and our staff will train them to:

  • Assist with your at-home exercise program before and after surgery
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of an infection or blood clot
  • Change your surgical dressing when you get back home
  • Understand your prescription medications and interactions

When you’re ready to go home, they’ll attend the discharge class with you and keep a checklist of what you’ll need to stay on the road to recovery.

7-10 Days Before Joint Replacement Surgery

Emory Decatur Hospital or your surgeon’s office will be contacting you to schedule a pre-admission appointment. Your pre-admission appointment will be on the first floor of the DeKalb Medical Women’s and Surgery Center (the same building where you will have your orthopedic surgery). During your pre-admission appointment, we will conduct any necessary X-rays, labs or blood work that your doctor has requested prior to performing your orthopedic surgery. You will meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss your current medications and answer any questions you may have about joint replacement. Appointments for orthopedic surgery pre-admission testing are typically scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Orthopedic Nursing Staff at the Joint Solutions Center

At the Emory Decatur Hospital Joint Solutions Center (JSC), our nurses aren’t just trained in how to attend to your medical needs, they’re trained in helping you take those first steps with your new joint and into your new life. As part of a dynamic, dedicated orthopedic unit, all of the nurses at the Joint Solutions Center possess specialized training in total joint care.

In addition to ensuring your comfort and safety, they are an integral part of a multidisciplinary team that will help you achieve optimum mobility and performance. Your nurse will also help manage any post-surgery pain (including changing your medication if necessary) so you can receive the greatest benefit from your physical therapy and daily walks on the Georgia Sightseer Tour.

Joint Exercises

Starting joint mobility exercises before your orthopedic surgery is a smart thing to do. Continuing the exercises after your orthopedic surgery will also speed up your recovery! The joint exercises only take about 15-20 minutes to do each day. Taking this initiative will prepare you to be as fit as possible going into and coming out of your orthopedic surgery.

The Importance of Starting an Exercise Program

Ideally, you should think about starting an exercise program 4-6 weeks prior to surgery and immediately after surgery (or as your doctor orders). You’ll obtain optimum benefit if you do the joint mobility exercises twice a day, but-- only exercise to your comfort level.

The exercises can be easily performed on the bed if the floor is not comfortable and will strengthen your entire body, including your arms, which you’ll be relying on more after surgery to get in and out of the bed, etc.

Joint Exercises