The Joint Replacement Center at
Johnson City Medical Center
Knee Replacement - Hospital Care
What to Do
Arrive at Johnson City Medical Center, and proceed to 6th floor, 6500 wing (turn right as you come off the elevators and continue straight to the end of the hallway). A team member will show you to your room.
What to Expect During the Surgical Experience
Upon arrival, you will be prepared for surgery in your room. A health history and home medications will be reviewed. At the appropriate time you will be escorted to the surgery holding area where you will see the anesthesiologist. Following surgery you will be taken to a recovery area where you will remain for one to two hours. During this time, pain control will be established, your vital signs will be monitored and an X-ray will be taken of your new joint.
The surgeon will talk with your family or “coach” when your surgery is completed to let them know how the surgery went. You will return to your room where a nurse will care for you. Most of the discomfort occurs the first 24 hours following surgery. During this time,
you will receive pain medication.
It is very important that you begin ankle pumps on this first day. This will help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You should also begin using your Incentive Spirometer and doing the deep breathing exercises to prevent pneumonia. Each day you will
receive “KneeTips,” a daily newsletter outlining the day’s activities. Your physical therapist will evaluate you the night of
surgery and begin your therapy.
Day 0 - Surgery Day
Physical therapy will do your initial evaluation. You will be encouraged to actively participate in physical therapy while maintaining safety standards. Exceptions would be a late afternoon surgery or type of anesthesia (spinal/epidural).
Day 1 - After Surgery
On day one after surgery you will be helped out of bed early by physical therapy and assisted to a chair. You will be seated in a recliner in your room. Your surgeon or physician’s assistant will visit you. The physical therapist will assess your progress and get you walking with a walker. IV pain medication will be stopped and you will begin oral medication. Remember to ask for your pain pills.
Your surgeon or physician’s assistant will visit you. Our discharge planner will visit with you to discuss your needs for discharge from the hospital and begin making any necessary arrangements you will need.
Day 2 - After Surgery
On day two after surgery you will be helped out of bed early and will walk with a therapist.
If you are doing well, your orthopedic surgeon may discharge you today. This will occur after the afternoon therapy session. Discharge teaching will be done by nursing and physical therapy.
Day 3 - Discharge Day
Day three is similar to day two in the morning and you will walk on stairs. You will be discharged in the afternoon. This will occur after the afternoon therapy session. Discharge teaching will be done by nursing and physical therapy.
If You are Going Directly Home
Someone responsible needs to drive you. You will receive written discharge instructions concerning medications, physical therapy, activity, etc. Arrangements for equipment will have been done by Case Management/discharge planner.
If You are Going to a Sub-Acute Rehab (Skilled Nursing) Facility
The decision to go home or skilled nursing will be made collectively by you, the case manager, your surgeon, your physical therapist and your insurance company.
We will arrange for transportation. Expect to stay for approximately one week, based upon your progress. Upon discharge home, instructions will be given to you by the skilled nursing staff.
Upon evaluation of your progress, you will either meet the criteria to benefit from skilled nursing or your insurance company may recommend that you return home with other care arrangements. Therefore, it is important for you to make alternative plans preoperatively for care at home.
In the event skilled nursing is not approved by your insurance company, you can always pay privately.
Please keep in mind that the majority of our patients do well and don’t meet the guidelines to qualify for skilled nursing. Also keep in mind that insurance companies do not become involved in “social issues,” such as lack of caregiver, animals, etc. These are issues you will have to address before admission.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions (423)431-6937