What to Expect
It begins with the exam by your orthopedic surgeon and proceeds through our coordinated program of pre-operative teaching, joint replacement surgery, and post-operative therapy that facilitates your recovery.
Meet the Team
Our team is made up of experienced and highly recognized orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical staff, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and a total joint transitionist who will guide you throughout this process.
Contact Total Joint Transitionist
Total Joint Replacement Education
If you’re planning for total joint replacement you are strongly encouraged to attend one of the UPMC Western Maryland Total Joint Center information sessions before surgery. This pre-operative class provides you with valuable information about:
- Preparing for surgery
- Understanding post-operative care and expectations
- Planning how to prepare the home for your return
- The significance of exercising to build up the muscles
- Eating properly to also help build up the muscles and keep you healthy
Please bring the following to class:
- A completed history form
- The individual who will be coaching you post-operation
- Any questions
Call 240-964-6618 for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare for surgery?
You and your coach should attend the Total Joint Replacement education class described above.
How long is a typical hospital stay?
Joint replacement usually requires a two-day stay at the hospital, depending on your progress. If you are responding very well, you may only spend a day in the hospital, but if there is a complication, the stay may be three days or longer.
What should I leave at home?
UPMC Western Maryland is not responsible for lost articles, so please leave the following at home:
- Valuables, jewelry, money
- All assistive devices, cane, walker, etc.
What do I bring on the day of Surgery?
- Loose, comfortable closes, like shorts, sweatpants and t-shirts and closed toe shoes that are non-skid and stable.
- CPAP machine, if you use one at home
- Books, laptop, cell phone, cell phone charger
- List of medications, insurance cards, living will, list of past surgeries and diseases/illnesses
When Can a Joint Replacement Patient Drive?
The average wait is about 4-6 weeks, however, it depends on your individual recovery progress and any other health issues you may have. Your doctor will assess your progress and make the decision.
When Can a Joint Replacement Patient Take a Shower?
With the sealed dressings that UPMC Western Maryland uses, you may take a shower with the dressing on and pat dry over that area, no rubbing. If the dressing is removed and the sutures or staples have been removed and there is no drainage from the incision, you may shower and pat the area dry. If there is any drainage from the surgery site, do not take a shower or bath.
How Long Does the Surgical Site Take to Heal?
The average healing time for the entire incision and tissue under the incision is approximately 6-8 weeks. It may be sooner or it may be later; every patient is different.
How Long Between First and Second Knee Replacements?
If you follow through with the exercising and dietary instructions, you may be able to have your second knee replaced in a few months. The doctor will assess you and determine a timeline.
When Can a Joint Replacement Patient Go Back to Work?
If you are recovering rapidly, the average time is about 6-8 weeks. This time frame depends on:
- How you are recovering
- If you any other health issues
- What your insurance regulations are
- What the surgeon’s assessment reveals
- What your job requirements are
Is a Blood Transfusion Necessary?
With a total joint replacement, you may require a blood transfusion depending on your blood count, which is monitored closely. There is a possibility that you may donate your own blood ahead of time so that it is available if needed. Otherwise, if you are in need of a blood transfusion you will receive blood from the Red Cross.
Are Any Special Medications Needed After Surgery?
After a total joint, blood thinners are used to help prevent the formation of a blood clot. You will receive information about the blood thinner from your nurse and what to do to follow up after discharge.
How Long Will This New Joint Last?
If you are a patient over 60 years of age, you will have good use of the prosthesis for the rest of your life. For our patients who are very young and active with a joint replacement, there may be some wear or loosening of the prosthesis and a revision may be required. Most of our younger patients (athletic-type) are having total joints because the outcomes have been very helpful.
12500 Willowbrook Road, 6th Floor
Cumberland, MD 21502