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UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

Joint Replacement Surgery

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Joint Replacement Surgery

If you are having a hip replacement, there will be some dislocation precautions for you to observe after surgery.  These will be given to you in the hospital.

You will have an overhead frame with a trapeze on your bed to assist you with mobility.  We will demonstrate its use to you.  Some of you may have additional traction called a Kodel sling set up.   Kodel slings allow you to rest your operative leg while you are in bed and reminds you to keep your legs apart (abducted).  Others of you may have a foam Abduction Pillow placed between your legs.  It is placed to assist you with dislocation precautions. 
 
You will spend most of your time on your back.  Using the trapeze and Kodel slings takes pressure off the back and buttocks. Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT and OT) as well as the nursing staff will be assisting you to get out of bed and to walk beginning the day after your surgery.    You will be given instructions about your weight bearing status.  You will be using a front wheeled walker.  A raised toilet seat (a free standing 3 in 1 commode) is essential to prevent hip dislocation and will be provided as needed.   Our Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coordinator will order these items for you to use at home.  The OT will provide you with information for additional assistive devices.

We will provide you with a 4 inch hip cushion to take home.  You can use it in chairs to raise the seat up higher so that your hip is not at risk for dislocation.

We will medicate you twice a day with an iron complex and vitamin C to help build up your blood and a stool softener for constipation.  Once a day, we will give you a multivitamin.  Because some of the medications we give you are irritating to the stomach and because surgery is a stress to the body, you will also receive doses of Pepcid.  Please let us know about indigestion, headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and sore throat.  We have medication for you if you just ask.

If you are having a knee replacement, you will have an overhead frame and trapeze placed to your bed to allow you some mobility while you are in bed.    We'll show you how to use it. 

Some of you will have your operative leg placed in a continuous passive motion device (CPM) while in the surgical suite.  Others of you may have it placed post operatively.   The CPM gently flexes and extends your knee.   Your doctor will leave instructions for your RN about the settings and times for the CPM use.  Your flexion goal on the CPM is at least 90 degrees or higher if you can tolerate it.  Arrangements will be made for a rental CPM to be delivered to your home when you are discharged.

When you are not in the CPM, your operative leg will be on a towel roll placed behind your ankle.  This is therapy to straighten (or extend) your knee.  Please let us know if you need a break or pain medication to continue your therapy.  

Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT and OT) as well as the nursing staff will be assisting you to get out of bed and to walk beginning the day after your surgery.   You will be given instructions on your weight bearing status.  You will be using a front wheeled walker.  A free standing 3 in 1 commode is provided at the bedside. Our Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coordinator will order these items for you to use at home.  The OT will provide you with information for additional assistive devices.

We will medicate you twice a day with an iron complex and vitamin C to help build up your blood and a stool softener for constipation.  Once a day, we will give you a multivitamin.  Because some of the medications we give you are irritating to the stomach and because surgery is a stress to the body, you will also receive doses of Pepcid.  Please let us know about indigestion, headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and sore throat.  We have medication for you if you just ask.

If you have questions about this portion of the website, please contact us at orthospineinfo@mednet.ucla.edu.