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What to expect

Support at each step

Your journey starts with comprehensive education.

Before your surgery, you'll attend an education class at Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus, where you will receive information about what to expect the day of surgery, rehabilitation, caring for yourself and continuing recovery after you leave the hospital.

Day of surgery

After surgery, you'll be brought to your room in Unity's Joint Replacement Center. Your care team will help you to sit up and move to a chair. Some patients may be well enough to take a short walk with assistance.

What to expect after surgery

Day one: After you are bathed and dressed, you'll be helped out of bed and into your recliner. The physical therapist will assess your progress and help you walk with a walker. Your nurse will work with you to assess your pain and provide pain medication as needed. At 1:30 p.m. - you'll participate in group physical therapy, your coach is strongly encouraged to attend. Visitors are welcome to visit, it is best for them to come in the late afternoon or evening.

Day two: Your coach should arrive at the hospital at 9 a.m. and help you walk to group therapy, which will at 9:30 a.m. In the afternoon, there will be another group therapy session at 1:30 p.m. Some patients may begin walking stairs with the help of a physical therapist. Your evening is free for visitors or relaxing. Many patients are discharged after the afternoon therapy session on day two, if therapy goals have been met and their pain is well controlled.

Day three: You'll be helped out of bed and dressed by 7:30 a.m. After a therapy session at 9:30 a.m., pending any unforeseen delays, discharge time will be between 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Customized after-care

Your care team will work with you and your family to develop a personalized discharge and home care plan that includes outpatient therapy, pain management and arranging for home medical equipment, such as a walker or cane.

The majority of patients (nearly 80 percent) are able to recover in their own home with help from family and friends and continuing outpatient physical therapy. 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.