The dressing covering your surgical wound should stay intact until the wound is reviewed at 10 to 14 days post-surgery. If however you notice any leakage or oozing from the dressing or the seal of the dressing is compromised you may change the dressing. If this persists beyond 5 days despite following the principles of RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation then please contact The Joint Studio.
If the operated site becomes red, hot, swollen and tender this may indicate the presence of an infection. Please contact our team on 9386 3933 during office hours to arrange review of the wound.
The Joint Studio in Nedlands has a dedicated Dressing Clinic on Friday mornings with our Registrar for wound review and staple removal.
The Recovery Period
In the post-op period you are likely to experience some low grade swelling and pain at the surgery site. This is normal following joint replacement surgery. We recommend you apply the RICE principles and take regular analgesic to manage the pain. Do not be alarmed if you experience a clicking noise following total knee replacement; this generally settles with time.
Many people note low energy levels and poor sleep patterns or a burning sensation following surgery in the post-operative period. These symptoms can take several months to resolve.
Physiotherapy/Rehabilitation following discharge
You may commence physiotherapy and hydrotherapy following your wound review. The hospital physiotherapist will have provided a letter outlining your in hospital progress. Take this along to your local physiotherapist. The Joint Studio is happy to refer you to our network of reputable physiotherapist who can work with you so you have the best possible post-surgery outcomes.
When can I drive?
The Joint Studio recommends that patients who have had hip or knee joint replacement observe The Arthroplasty Society of Australia’s guidelines listed below when considering a return to driving.
“The Arthroplasty Society acknowledges that driving is an important part of people’s lives and day-to-day activities. A patient should not return to driving after a hip or knee replacement until they can safely perform an EMERGENCY STOP and they no longer require regular narcotic analgesia.
The ability to perform an emergency stop varies between patients, but in most cases occurs between 4 and 6 weeks following a right leg hip or knee replacement.”
When can I travel?
Patients who are low risk may fly immediately following discharge from hospital. If you have any of the high risk factors eg. a previous history of DVT or pulmonary embolus then we recommend you wait at least 2 weeks. Wearing TED flight stockings will always reduce the chances of a DVT occurring.
Driving Short journeys will be dictated as comfort allows. For longer travel we recommend a break at 60 minute intervals to stretch the limb for the first 3 months following surgery.
Additional prescriptions for medications should be obtained from your general practitioner.
A follow-up appointment with your treating surgeon will be scheduled for 6 weeks after the operation.
For any other questions, please contact The Joint Studio on (08) 9386 3933