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Revision Total Joint Arthroplasty

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Revision total joint arthroplasty is surgery to fix or replace an artificial joint. You may need a revision arthroplasty if your artificial joint becomes loose, moves out of place, or breaks. You may need this surgery if the bone around your artificial joint gets weak or damaged over time. You may also need this surgery if you have severe pain or an infection in your joint.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cough up blood.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

Call your orthopedist or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have a cough, or you feel weak and achy.
  • You have more pain and swelling, even after treatment.
  • Your skin is itchy and swollen or you have a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. The following are general safety guidelines to follow while you are taking a blood thinner:
    • Watch for bleeding and bruising while you take blood thinners. Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin, and a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports.
    • Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take a blood thinner. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.
    • Do not start or stop any other medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners.
    • Take your blood thinner exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not skip does or take less than prescribed. Tell your provider right away if you forget to take your blood thinner, or if you take too much.
    • Warfarin is a blood thinner that you may need to take. The following are things you should be aware of if you take warfarin:
      • Foods and medicines can affect the amount of warfarin in your blood. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and certain other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you are taking warfarin.
      • You will need to see your healthcare provider for follow-up visits when you are on warfarin. You will need regular blood tests. These tests are used to decide how much medicine you need.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for the surgery area as directed:

Do not let the area get wet until your surgeon tells you it is okay. Then take showers instead of baths. Cover the surgery area when you shower. Gently pat the area dry and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Do not swim or soak in a hot tub or bath tub until your surgeon says it is okay.

Go to physical therapy, if directed:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Use crutches, a cane, or a walker as directed:

These devices help you move around easier and may prevent a fall.

Walking with Crutches

Follow up with your orthopedist or surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked and stitches 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.

Further information

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