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Joint Replacement Surgery

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.


What you need to know about joint replacement surgery:

Joint replacement surgery is done to repair or replace part or all of a joint. The joint may be damaged by injury or disease and can be repaired or replaced with a new one. You may try other treatments before joint replacement surgery, such as steroid injections or medicines. The goals of joint replacement are pain relief and increased function. Knee, hip, and shoulder joints are the most common joints replaced.

How to prepare for joint replacement surgery:

What will happen during joint replacement surgery:

What will happen after joint replacement surgery:

Risks of joint replacement surgery:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone call if:

Seek care immediately if:

Call your surgeon if:


You may need any of the following:

Care for your incision area as directed:

Ask how and when to change your bandage and clean your incision area. Do not get the area wet until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When it is okay to bathe, do not scrub the area. Just let water run over it. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Do not put powders or lotions over your incision area. Check the area every day for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, or pus.


Follow up with your surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your incision area checked and stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.