What to expect

Early mobility

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Early mobility is an important part of your recovery and involves standing and walking the same day as your surgery.  Early mobility reduces complications and improves your ability to safely return home as soon as possible.

Support at each step

The joint care coordinator helps with your care needs from the time you schedule your surgery to the time you leave the hospital. This includes your pre-surgery class, helping with any questions regarding planning for surgery and what to expect, and helping you plan for recovery at home.

What to expect after surgery

Day of surgery: You will sit at the edge of the bed, stand, walk and may even start working with therapy. 

Day one: After you are bathed and dressed, you'll be helped out of bed and into your recliner by 6:30 a.m. The physical therapist will assess your progress and help you walk with a walker. Your coach – a designated friend or family member – is strongly encouraged to participate in your therapy sessions. If you are having visitors, it is best for them to come in the late afternoon or evening. 

Day one at the United Joint Replacement Center

Day two: Therapy and discharge are based on medical stability and meeting therapy goals. Therapy will be tailored to meeting those goals. Remember, most of your healing and recovery occurs at home. Most patients will discharge today or earlier. 

If you aren’t discharged in the morning on Wednesday and Friday, you'll have lunch with other patients and their coaches.

Discharge: Planning starts before surgery. Most patients are able to return home to an environment they are familiar with and where they will be more comfortable.  

Customized after-care: Your care team will work with you and your family to develop a personalized discharge plan. Patient stays will vary depending on their surgery and recovery. The staff will start discussing your discharge date and plan with you after surgery. Discharge occurs when you are meeting therapy goals, are medically stable and your pain is managed. 

Joint replacement patients having dinner

The majority of patients (nearly 80 percent) are able to recover in their own home, either with help from family and friends or with care providers who come into the home. Other patients will continue rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility (or short-term rehabilitation center) where their medical needs can be monitored at all times and there are many types of help and services available. Rehabilitation in a skilled facility is recommended by the care team if you meet certain requirements. 

Discharge instructions: Understanding and remembering all the information you need to know after being discharged from a hospital after surgery can be confusing. Allina Health account provides online access once you get home to view your discharge instructions, refill a prescription and more.