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Preparing for surgery 

Depending on which hospital you go to, you’ll be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic and possibly 
a ‘joint school’.

Preparing for surgery : List

Pre-admission clinic / pre-operative assessment

You will be invited to attend this clinic usually about two to three weeks before the surgery. You’ll be examined and have tests to make sure you’re generally well enough to undergo surgery. Tests may include:

  • blood tests

  • x-rays of your hip

  • a urine sample to rule out any infections

  • an electrocardiogram (ECG) to make sure your heart is healthy.

You will discuss with the clinic team whether you should stop taking any of your medications or make any changes to the dosage or timings before you have surgery. It’s helpful to bring your medicines, or a list of them, to this appointment.

Joint school/ Hip & Knee group

joint schools may vary slightly from one hospital to another but will likely  cover:

  • what you should do to prepare for surgery

  • what you should and shouldn’t bring with you to the hospital

  • different types of implants and anaesthetics

  • exercises that will be recommended after your operation

  • what pain relief options you will have after surgery.

Get in Shape for Surgery

  • If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking affects blood circulation, delays healing,  slows recovery, and may increase the risk of infection.

  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, there will be more stress placed on your new joint. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a weight loss program before surgery.

  • If you drink, do not consume any alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery.

  • If you are planning to have any dental work done, such as an extraction or periodontal treatment, schedule it well in advance of your surgery. Due to the risk of infection, do not schedule any dental work, including routine cleanings, for several weeks after your surgery.

  • Your skin should not have any infections or irritations before surgery. If either is present, contact your orthopaedic surgeon for treatment to improve your skin before surgery.

  • Muscle-strengthening exercises may be recommended to do in the weeks before the operation, as this can help with your recovery. Click here to read about detailed muscle exercises or here to watch the video. 

What to pack for hospital

  • a nightdress or pyjamas

  • day clothes

  • clean underwear

  • dressing gown and slippers

  • small hand towel

  • toiletries – soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant

  • sanitary towels or tampons

  • razor and shaving materials

  • comb or hairbrush

  • book or magazines

  • small amount of money

  • medication you normally take, and a list of the doses for each medicine

  • glasses or contact lenses with case

  • notebook and pen

  • healthy snacks

  • address book and important phone numbers, including your GP's contact details

Also plan for your return

  • Think about how you'll get to the hospital and back again. You won't be able to drive yourself home, so you should arrange transport or ask a friend or relative to help.

  • If you live alone or have special needs, consider having a friend or family member stay with you for several days after surgery.

  • If you do the cooking, prepare for a week or two and freeze them alternatively stock up on ready-made foods that you enjoy.

  • Set up your home ready for your return, place items you use regularly at arm level so you do not have to reach up or bend down.

  • Have arrangements been made for any special equipment you’ll need when you leave hospital – such as a raised toilet seat, bed rails, or a bathroom chair. You should discuss your needs with the hospital team and check if there’s anything you’ll need to arrange for yourself.

Hip replacement exercises before surgery 

Preparing for surgery : Welcome
Ankle pumps

Ankle pumps

  • Lay down on your back on your bed

  • Bring your toes up towards the ceiling, flexing your foot

  • Bring your toes down towards the floor, like you’re pressing on a gas pedal

  • Repeat at a nice, quick pace

quads sets

Quads sets : Thigh squeezes

  • Lay down on your back on your bed

  • Tighten the muscles on the top of your thigh by pushing the back of your knee down into the bed. 

  • Hold for 5 seconds and relax.

Glutes squeeze

Gluteal Sets : Buttocks squeezes

  • Lay down on your back on your bed

  • Tightly squeeze your glutes

  • Hold for five seconds (if you do this on a firm surface (like the floor or a table) you should see the hips come slightly up off the surface)

  • Relax and repeat

heel slides

Heel Slides

  • Lay down on your back on your bed

  • Slide your heel up towards your glutes as far as you feel comfortable, bending your knee

  • Hold for 5 seconds

  • Slide your heel back down to your starting position

  • Repeat

  • Switch to the opposite leg and repeat

  • Keep your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling during the exercise.

  • You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.

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Leg slides

  • Lay down on your back on your bed

  • Slide your surgical leg out to the side.

  • keep your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling.

  • Slide your leg back to the starting position.

  • You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.


Chair pushups

  • Sit on a sturdy chair with arms.

  • Hold the arms of the chair.

  • Push down on the chair arms, straightening your elbows so you raise your buttocks a few inches off the seat of the chair. 

  • Work up to holding for 5 seconds. 

  • Lower yourself slowly back into the chair


Chair kicks

  • Sit in a chair with your knees back towards the edge of the chair as much as possible

  • Sit with good posture, sitting up straight with your chest out and shoulders back

  • Extend one leg straight out towards the ceiling, keeping your foot relaxed

  • Hold for five seconds and then return to your starting position

  • Repeat

  • Switch legs and repeat

Preparing for surgery : Articles & Resources
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