What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay
Patients who've had orthopedic surgery will be cared for in our post-surgical unit. The unit is staffed with helpful, supportive and highly experienced medical staff. Your nurse will continue to monitor you closely during your time here.
Exercises You'll be Doing
Exercises you may be asked to do after your orthopedic surgery include:
Coughing and Deep Breathing
You will be encouraged to do coughing and deep breathing exercises (sometimes with a device called an "incentive spirometer" every hour while you're awake. This helps to keep your lungs clear so you will be less likely to experience complications such as pneumonia.
Under your nurse's guidance, you will be asked to do ankle pumps every hour. These exercises help prevent blood clots and swelling in your legs.
What Your Diet Will be Like
You may experience pain, discomfort and/or nausea in the hours after you awaken from anesthesia. Initially your diet will consist of clear liquids, advancing to regular foods as you are able to digest food comfortably.
Each room is equipped with an erasable white board which all patients are encouraged to use as a form of communication. You will be able to utilize the white boards by calling your RN, nursing assistant, kitchen, housekeeping, or even the manager directly from your phone through their spectralinks (wireless phone). Information regarding your plan of care will be written down and discussed with you.
Factors that you and your healthcare team will be keeping track of include the following:
- Your vital signs remain stable
- You have adequate urine output
- Your pain is under control
- You are able to eat and drink without nausea
- You have received joint precautions from nursing and physical therapy
- You can sit on the side of the bed and perform bedside exercises
- You understand how to use your supplies and equipment
What You Need to Know about Pain Management
Recovering from surgery is always somewhat uncomfortable, but the goal of pain management is to help keep that discomfort at a minimal level. You should expect to feel some pain but keep it at a moderate level so that you are able to rest adequately and participate in physical therapy and other activities, since this is important for recovery. Pain that goes untreated robs your energy and takes away important time you could spend with your loved ones.