Immediately after your surgery
When you return to the ward from the recovery room you will have an IV drip in your arm for volume replacement, antibiotic therapy, and (if necessary) blood transfusion. After the operation the nursing staff will continue to measure your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. You will also have a small drain inserted into your knee. Special air filled calf compressors may be used after your operation to help your circulation by automatically inflating and deflating. It you feel up to it you may have something light to eat. You will feel very sleepy after your operation so our staff will assist you with your needs.
Your surgeon or the resident doctor will visit you regularly to discuss your surgery and progress. The physiotherapist wilt visits you on the first day and each day thereafter to help you with your walking and exercise program. Blood samples will be taken to check your condition after surgery and you will be able to resume your normal medications. You will also be give regular pain relief medication to maintain your level of comfort. During the first two days, you are Likely to be prescribed narcotic pain medications, as they are most effective in controlling pain. Some patients experience drowsiness, nausea and vomiting when given narcotic medication less regularly.
We will organize a normal diet for you as soon as you feel ready. The nurse will check the dressing on your wound daily and remove the small drain from your wound upon the doctor's instructions.
Your wound must stay clean and dry before your sutures are removed. This means you will need to cover your knee when having showers, for example plastic bags or covers.
Showering & dressing
Initially the nurse will assist you to shower in a seated position using a commode chair. The nurse will demonstrate how to put your clothing more easily, i.e. dressing the affected leg first. You will need help with your TED stockings, socks and laces, for a while.
During the course of your stay in hospital, a surveillance examination known as a Duplex Doppler may be conducted to diagnose any clots in the veins. This examination enables your doctors to treat deep vein thrombosis.