Patient care plan

A smooth and speedy recovery depends on your help and cooperation. Your participation is essential in reaching your goal to return home and prevent complications.

Many wonder how long they will need to stay in the hospital after surgery. In general, most people who have joint replacement surgery leave the hospital within one to two days after surgery. Your health care team will work with you to determine your discharge and home care needs. 

What to expect during your hospital stay

After your surgery, you can expect to start moving the same day. You will be helped to a chair and work up to walking if you are able. You may be seen by a physical therapist for exercises and walking.

You can expect to be bathed and dressed in your loose-fitting clothing. A member of your health care team will help you get out of bed and seated in your chair.

You will work with a physical therapist today. The physical therapist will assess your progress and help you walk with a walker. The occupational therapist may also meet with you to help you practice getting dressed, bathing and using the toilet

It is strongly suggested that your coach participates in therapy sessions. Other visitors are welcome but preferably in the late afternoon or evening.

You will be helped out of bed and dressed. You will have physical therapy, occupational therapy or both today. Your coach is encouraged to be with you as much as possible.

You will be discharged from the hospital when you meet your therapy goals and you are medically stable

Your goals for leaving the hospital include:

  • taking pain medicine by mouth
  • passing urine without problems
  • meeting your physical therapy goals

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Knee Replacement, fifth edition, ortho-ah-90140
First Published: 10/01/2000
Last Reviewed: 05/26/2017

Videos

Pain management after surgery

These four videos review pain expectations, rating your pain, pain treatment options and home pain management.

Video iconWatch all four modules.

Peripheral nerve block: Pain control after surgery

This 24-minute video explains what a peripheral nerve block is and how you can use it to control pain in the hospital and after you return home.

Video iconWatch the full video or in two- to three-minute segments.

Be prepared

for your hospital stay

Research shows that patients who take an active role in their health care can have better outcomes than those who don't. Here's some simple advice on how you can  be prepared for your hospital stay.