Pre- and Post-Surgical Care
By deciding to have knee replacement surgery, you are taking an important step to improve your quality-of-life. Careful preparation and focused rehabilitation are key factors to returning to the activities that you enjoy.
Your UW Health joint replacement surgeons and orthopedic team have developed a care plan to guide you through your preparation, hospital stay and recovery from surgery. A Total Joints Nurse Coordinator is also available to ensure a smooth transition from surgery to recovery.
Step 1: Your Care Team and Support Person
Your joint replacement team's main goal is to provide you with the care and support you need to get through your joint replacement and back to the things you love to do. We also encourage you to choose a family member or friend who can act as a personal support person or “coach” as you go through the joint replacement process.
The joint replacement program includes a mandatory pre-surgery class called Joints 101 that provides you and your support person with the opportunity to learn what to expect throughout the joint replacement process. The knee replacement surgery care team will enroll you into Joints 101:
- Nurses will provide you with an overview of issues you need to know before surgery as well as important information related to your inpatient stay and your return home following surgery.
- Physical therapists (total knee replacement and total hip replacement) and occupational therapists (total hip replacement only) will present information specific to exercises you need to know before and after surgery, assistive devices you may use after surgery and movement/activity precautions following surgery.
- You also get the opportunity to meet other people who are going through the same type of surgery and hear what questions others have about the surgery.
Patients who are scheduled for surgery have access to this free online educational system that provides you and anyone else you designate with comprehensive information before and after surgery.
- Checklists and reminders to guide you through your journey that starts before surgery and continues after surgery to make sure you are prepared and understand important issues that impact your overall recovery
- Convenient access to important educational materials
- Informative videos, including exercises
- Online forms to simplify your paperwork
- Patient self-reports to provide your orthopedic team with feedback concerning your care and progress
Once your knee replacement surgery is scheduled, you will be enrolled in TotalCare by our coordinator.