Total Hip / Knee Arthroplasty Discharge Instructions

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Bath Instructions

  • Do not get your incision wet in the bath/shower until the sutures/staples are removed, and it is healed (about 3 days following suture removal).
  • Some surgeons use absorbable sutures that do not require removal. Check with your surgeon. Usually allow one week to heal and check that the incision is dry before bathing.


  • Maintain a healthy body weight to reduce stress on your new joint.


  • Use your walking aid (walker or crutches) as long as your surgeon instructs you to.
  • Follow your surgeon's instructions as to how much weight bearing is allowed on your operated leg.
  • Continue your exercises as taught to you by your Physiotherapist. Your commitment to your exercise program is an important factor in your recovery.
  • Plan your activities carefully. Include rest periods. Do not overdo any activity.
  • Remember - "Do's and Don'ts" as taught to you by your Health Care team.


Let your doctor/dentist know that you have an artificial joint before having any procedure or surgery. Antibiotics may be necessary prior to these procedures/surgery to prevent infection.

Call your surgeon if you have:

  • excessive pain
  • excessive swelling or redness
  • high fever
  • incision drainage
  • pain in calf of your leg
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing
  • or any other symptom you don't understand
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