Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
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after surgery

After your orthopedic surgery, you will be staying on the 6th floor of Advocate BroMenn Medical Center. Initially upon arrival in your room you may be awake, although you may still be sleepy the rest of the day.

Staff will check your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, breathing), oxygen level, pain level, circulation, drains (if applicable) and bandage. These checks will be frequent at first and then less frequent as you progress.

You will have an IV during your stay. It will be used to give you medications and to give you fluids until you are taking liquids. It will be removed on the day you are discharged.

Immediately after surgery, you will wear an oxygen mask for two hours. Then you will be weaned off of the oxygen based on your needs. You will be instructed on the use of the Incentive Spirometer. This helps you to clear the anesthetic from your lungs and prevent pneumonia. You will also be asked to take deep breaths and cough frequently right after surgery.

You will be given ice chips and clear liquids if you are not nauseated. Your diet will be advanced slowly.


  • If you have drains, they will be removed one or two days after surgery.
  • (Knee Replacement) You may have a cooling pad wrapped into your bandage to help reduce pain and swelling in your knee.
  • (Knee Replacement) You will use a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine that is used to gradually increase the bending and straightening of your knee.
  • (Hip Replacement) Some patients have an "abductor pillow" to help remind them to keep their legs apart.

Preventing blood clots
This is very important after joint replacement surgery.

  • You may have elastic socks, called TED hose
  • You will have a wrap that goes around both legs (hip replacement) or just your non-operated leg (knee replacement). It intermittently inflates to keep the blood flowing.
  • You can help to prevent blood clots by exercising your feet and ankles.
  • You will be on blood thinning medication to help prevent blood clots.
  • You can help also by doing ankle and foot exercises.

Medications & Pain Management
Your physicians will restart your home medications as appropriate. You will receive antibiotics for 24 hours after surgery. To prevent constipation, you will receive stool softener medications and a laxative, if needed. Your surgeon will decide what other medication you will receive for pain. Discuss with your surgeon before your surgery about your options for pain medication.

Physical and Occupational Therapy
You may have physician orders to get out of bed the afternoon or evening after surgery depending upon what time of day your surgery takes place.

  • Physical Therapy staff assists you with performing exercises that enhance your recovery by improving your mobility, your strength and focusing on the activities you do on a daily basis.
  • Occupational Therapy staff trains you in "activities of daily living" which include bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom among other things.

Therapy goals for your hospital stay include:

  • Get in and out of bed safely
  • Walk safely with a walker (or crutches or a cane, as directed by your physician)
  • Complete your exercise program with the least amount of assistance possible
  • Bathe yourself with the least amount of assistance possible
  • Dress yourself with the least amount of assistance possible

Your Surgeon
Your surgeon or his/her staff will see you on a daily basis. Your primary care doctor may also visit you while you are in the hospital. If your primary care physician does not come to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center or you do not have a primary care physician, you may be assigned to a physician called a "hospitalist." This physician will see you daily in addition to your surgeon.

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