How long with the anaesthetic/drugs affect me?
It is different from person to person but as long as you eat well and increase your fluid intake (so you can flush the medications out of your system) it usually stays in the system 24-48 hours. The side effects are only temporary but it is common for you to feel dizzy, drowsy, tired, nauseous, etc.
What medications will I go home with?
You will usually go home with anti-inflammatories and a codeine based pain medication. We would encourage you to continue taking anti-inflammatories until you finish the course as this will help with swelling. You can wean yourself off the pain medications depending on how you feel. Please be aware that the pain medications can cause constipation. You can help prevent this by increasing your fibre intake and keeping well hydrated. If need be, you can buy over the counter laxatives.
Please ensure that you inform us of any allergies.
What dressings will I have postop? Can I shower?
Before discharge the ward nurse will change your bandage to a waterproof dressing. You will therefore be able to shower. You will be given some spare dressings to take home in case they peel off.
It is best not to have a bath until the wound has healed and you can safely transfer in/out of the bath.
Do I need to change my dressings every day?
You don’t need to change the dressings every day. The ward nurses will give you spare dressings to take home to be used if needed. Unless there is excessive wound leakage or the dressings become loose you can leave it. The wounds need to be covered two weeks after surgery. If you encounter wound ooze, please contact Professor Haddad’s nurses to discuss further.
When will I have my stitches taken out?
You need to have your stitches out 10-14 days postop. Depending on Professor Haddad’s availability you usually have your follow up appointment with him two weeks post-surgery. If your follow up appointment falls in that period then you will have your stitches out on the same day. If not, we would suggest for you to arrange the removal of your stitches wherever is convenient for you.
Do I need to wait for my stitches to be taken out before I start physiotherapy?
No. You will be guided when to commence physiotherapy postoperatively. Most rehabilitation will commence within the first week after surgery. You should ideally have had a couple of physiotherapy sessions before your follow up appointment with Professor Haddad. Physiotherapy is very important to your progress and rehabilitation.
Will I be mobile enough after the surgery?
Yes, definitely. The ward based physiotherapist will make sure that you are safe to cope at home. You will be assessed and give crutches if required, depending on your weight bearing status. The physiotherapist will also teach you to navigate stairs/steps prior to discharge.
When can I get rid of my crutches?
Professor Haddad will give the time frame on how long you need to use your crutches. A rehabilitation protocol will also be given to your physiotherapist. The crutches are used to maintain stability and so you won’t develop an abnormal gait pattern. Your physiotherapist will also guide you on when you can stop using the crutches.
When can I go back to work?
Everyone is different; it also depends on the exact procedure performed. We generally would ask you to take a couple of days off. For example, if you had your surgery on a Tuesday then ideally we would ask you to return the following Monday. You just need to be aware that you might still feel tired or the joint might still be swollen. Sitting for long periods of time might make you stiff therefore have frequent breaks so you can walk around and stretch your legs. You also need to be aware that sometimes the pain medications can affect your vision and concentration.
Joint replacements or other complex surgeries will need a longer recuperation period, therefore you may be off work for at least 4 weeks.
You also need to consider how you are getting to work. If Professor Haddad asked you to use crutches then you might not feel comfortable on public transport. You might need to make adjustments. Can you come to work a bit later to avoid rush hour? Can you work from home? If you need to go back to work then make sure you are safe to do so.
What do I need to bring to the hospital when I am admitted?
You just need to bring your usual toiletries. The hospital has WiFi. If you already have crutches or a knee brace then please bring them. If you are having a hip replacement then please bring your raised toilet seat with you.
What can I do to make my admission and discharge as smooth as possible?
You can help us by completing your health questionnaire as soon as possible and send it via email to Professor Haddad’s practice nurses.