After Your Surgery
The Surgical Center at Columbia Orthopaedic Group was built to allow our physicians and medical professionals to practice medicine with state-of-the-art technology and to provide you with high quality care in a comfortable environment.
- After surgery, you will be moved to the recovery area where you will be closely monitored until you are ready to go home.
- It is perfectly normal to feel discomfort in the area of your surgery. You may also experience some drowsiness or dizziness, depending on the kind of anesthesia you received.
- Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for care while recovering at home. In the event of any difficulty, please call your surgeon.
- For the first 24 hours following surgery, do not engage in strenuous activities, drink any alcoholic beverages, drive, or make critical decisions.
- A nurse from The Surgical Center at Columbia Orthopaedic Group will call you within a day or two to evaluate how you are recovering at home.
- You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about the care you received. Your comments will enable us to continue to improve our services.
Frequently Asked Questioins
- When can I see my family and friends after surgery?
- A nurse will be closely monitoring your vital signs after your procedure. As soon as you are awake, we will ask your family or friends to come see you.
- Up to 2 guests are welcomed in the recovery area at the same time.
- How soon will I be permitted to eat something?
- You will receive a snack in the recovery area.
- Your recovery nurse will review specific instructions for you to follow with regard to your immediate diet.
- Plan to drink lots of fluids (no alcohol) and initially maintain a very light post-operative diet.
- Some commonly recommended foods for the immediate post-operative period include soups, potatoes, pasta, applesauce and rice.
- Some common foods to avoid include milk products, spicy, greasy, fatty, and fried food.
- Your nutrition will play a role in your healing. Make sure you are eating an adequate amount of protein to aid in wound healing.
- Will I go home after surgery?
If you have a total knee replacement or a total hip replacement you will stay one night at The Lodge at Keene Street. The Lodge at Keene Street is conveniently connected to our Surgical Center. You will receive physical therapy there and will be discharged the following day.
- What should I expect?
You should expect to have some pain after surgery. Some people experience more pain than others. You and your surgeon will have a plan in place to treat your post-operative pain.
- What should I do when I get home?
- You should not make plans to do anything after your surgery except go home and rest.
- Your recovery nurse will discuss specific home care instructions with you and the responsible party who is taking you home.
- Plan to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
- What should I do if I am not feeling well at home?
Your recovery nurse will discuss warning signs with you prior to discharge. If you exhibit any of these symptoms or severe pain not controlled by your prescribed pain control regimen, you should:
- Contact your surgeon immediately
- Head straight to the nearest emergency room, or
- Call 911
Any urgent concerns after hours or on the weekend, we do have an orthopedic surgeon on call thru Boone Hospital Center, and you can reach them at 573-815-8000. Any concerns between the hours of 8-5 Monday-Friday, can be addressed directly with your surgeon's office or your Nurse Navigator.
- How will I avoid infection at the surgical site?
Your recovery nurse will review specific instructions to care for your surgical site.
Remember to follow our protocol for bathing and cleaning your surgical site.
- Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread or transfer of germs and infection.
- The day of surgery do not hesitate to ask friends, loved ones—and even those caring for you at the facility—if they have washed their hands or used alcohol foam prior to entering your room. You should also take care to wash your hands throughout this process.
- When should I begin taking my normal medications?
In most cases, you will be instructed to continue with your usual medications after surgery. Should temporary changes to your medication routine be needed, our staff will notify you before leaving.
- How will I manage my pain?
- Your surgeon will speak with you before your procedure about what to expect and how your pain will be managed. From the time you are admitted, to our post-operative call at home after you are discharged, we will be asking you to describe your pain level and working to make sure your pain is well controlled.
- You will be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable.
- Follow directions for pain medication closely and remember that most of them will take at least 45-60 minutes to begin working effectively. Therefore, consider taking the next dose before the pain becomes unbearable.
- Will I be sent home with prescriptions?
- Your surgeon may provide your prescriptions to you at your office visit prior to surgery or the day of surgery.
- Your recovery nurse will instruct you on how to take your medication.
- Most of our surgeons have your medications filled at the pharmacy that is on the second floor of our building, we will ask your family to pick these up while you are in surgery.
- Why can't you call in my prescription for narcotic pain medication after surgery?
Unfortunately, we are prohibited by law from calling in any controlled substance or narcotic pain medication prescriptions. Your prescription will need to be transmitted electronically to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Your physician will be happy to call in any other prescriptions you receive at the facility.
- A friend or family member may be able to fill your narcotic prescription while you are in surgery.
- What should I expect during my follow up call after surgery?
- Your Nurse Navigator will ask a series of very specific questions to assess your recovery.
- Your discharge instructions can be reviewed as needed.
- This is a time intended to allow you to ask any questions you might have about your recovery process.
- If you are experiencing an urgent issue, do not wait for us to call you. Please follow up with your surgeon's office as instructed.