Our orthopaedic surgeons have helped thousands of patients throughout Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Apex and all over the Triangle live better lives as a result of orthopaedic surgery. Our physicians and staff work closely with each patient to explore all treatment options to determine if orthopaedic surgery is the best course of treatment.
If you are scheduled to have orthopaedic surgery, the following information will guide you through the process so that you arrive well informed and confident of the positive benefits orthopaedic surgery can offer. If you have additional questions about your orthopaedic surgery, please contact us at 919-467-4992.
Orthpaedic Surgery Preparation
Once you and your physician have agreed that surgery is necessary, you will want to know what to expect from the procedure. Our orthopaedic team will outline a personal treatment plan to achieve optimal post-operative results. All surgery should be taken seriously, so you will need to understand your role as a patient and participate in the pre- and post-operative process to achieve the most efficient recovery possible. Both physical and mental preparation are important components to a successful outcome.
Communicating With Your Orthopaedic Physician
It is important to discuss any and all medical-related issues with your orthopaedic doctor prior to surgery. This is normally done as part of the information intake process during your regular office visit. Please be aware of the following:
- List and discuss any and all medications you may be currently taking.
- In the event you are taking anti-inflammatory medications, you should cease this intake for up to 10 days before surgery to minimize the chance of excessive bleeding. Your physician will inform you of any medications that would be safe to take closer to the surgery date.
- If you are a smoker, please significantly decrease or stop this habit in an effort to reduce surgical and anesthesia risks. It has been shown that smokers have higher rates of infections and complications as well as delayed healing rates.
- Prior to surgery, inform your doctor about any conditions that could interfere with the procedure or the results. You will most likely undergo routine diagnostic tests, such as blood work, X-rays and MRIs, before the surgery.
- If you are overweight, it is important to note that weight loss assists in decreasing stress to the hip, knee and ankle joints. Also, weight loss makes administration of the anesthetic safer.
- Any problems you may have involving your bowel, bladder, teeth or gums should be addressed with your orthopaedic doctor and resolved prior to surgery in an effort to reduce post-operative risk of infections.
- You must be sure to report any infections to your physician. These must be cleared before elective surgery can be performed.
Help at Home After Orthopaedic Surgery
Depending on your particular surgical procedure, you may be unable to do many of the normal tasks around the house for several days up to several weeks. Plan to have help with meals, cooking and cleaning, as well as shopping, transportation and laundry. Your orthopaedic surgeon should be able to give you a good idea of how much time you may need that assistance.
Rearrange your belongings around your house for easy access in an area where you will spend most of your recovery and resting time. Do this before surgery. Be aware of any hazards that exist or impediments to movement such as furniture, loose electrical cords, or wrinkles in the carpet. Locate a comfortable yet supportive and firm chair to sit in that has arms from which to push up.
Planning for Outpatient Surgery
Please follow these guidelines for same-day outpatient orthopaedic surgery:
- Plan to have someone stay at the surgery center for outpatient surgery. The surgical center staff will not allow the procedure to be performed unless you have onsite assistance and transportation home.
- Do not drive for at least 24 hours to allow for the anesthesia to clear and especially if you are on pain medication.
- It is not advised that you eat or drink soon after surgery, especially on the trip home or immediately upon arriving home. This is the point that you will be most subject to nausea and vomiting due to the anesthesia, pain medication and the travel. Light foods for the first day after surgery are best.
- Any surgery on the limbs is best treated post-operatively with ice, elevation and light compression. The combination of these can help to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Be sure to take your pain medicine as prescribed. Do not wait until your pain has become intolerable, as it takes time for the medication to become effective. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable.
Questions About Your Orthopaedic Surgery
Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns before or after your surgery.
- During normal office hours, please call the office directly and speak with one of our staff, or leave a message with our medical staff to return your call at the earliest possible convenience.
- If you have an urgent problem after hours, you may call our answering service at the same number. An operator will reach our on-call orthopaedic specialist.
- In the event of an emergency, call 911.