Getting a joint replacement can be life changing. Many people live in constant pain and misery because of a joint that isn't healthy. Luckily, if you deal with this kind of pain, you can see an orthopedic surgeon about getting a joint replacement. If you opt for this surgery, it is important that you know how to prepare for it. Here are a couple things you need to do.
1. Lose Weight If Necessary
When you undergo joint replacement surgery, you will have to be put under general anesthesia. If you are not healthy, this can have a lot of complications. People who are overweight are most at risk for problems under anesthesia. This is why some doctors won't even give you the surgery unless you are at a healthy body weight.
2. Quit Smoking
Like being obese, smoking can complicate the procedure. Smoking harms your lungs and your ability to breathe. While under the anesthesia, it is very important that you are able to breathe well and safely. If you are a smoker, you might not be a candidate for the surgery until you quit.
3. Do Not Consume Any Alcohol or Controlled Substances
Before the surgery, your doctor will tell you to refrain from consuming any alcohol or controlled substances. They might tell you to stop taking medications a couple days before to clear your system. This is because you will need a good deal of medications for the pain and the recovery. If you already have a lot of drugs in your system, you could be at risk for problems. The doctor's needs to know everything that is in your body, which is why it is so important that you are honest and straightforward about if you have taken any controlled substances or consumed alcohol before the surgery.
4. Prepare For Rehab
After the surgery you might not be able to return home. Depending on your age, the severity of the surgery, and the type of surgery, you might have to stay at a rehabilitation facility. During your stay, you will get around-the-clock care and rehab. You can expect to stay there anywhere from a day or two to a couple weeks. It all depends on how fast you heal and that you are able to show that you can care for yourself at home.
By understanding how to prepare for surgery, you can ensure that you are ready to get a joint replacement. For more information, contact Jon B. Greenfield MD or a similar medical professional.