What to Expect

When choosing Henry Ford for your joint replacement surgery, you have our promise that each and every patient will receive comprehensive and compassionate care. From researching surgical options and preparing each patient for their joint replacement surgery to delivering first-class post-operative care, our team offers everything you need for optimal recovery.

Every patient’s journey is unique to their treatment. While most patients will go home the same day as their surgery or the next day, the length of stay can vary from patient to patient.

Our expert team of joint specialists work with you before, during and after surgery so that you can return to doing the activities that you love most — pain free.

Learn more about hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.

Henry Ford’s joint replacement surgery preparation class

Our joint replacement prep class helps you and your family understand what to expect before, during and after surgery. You can attend our prep class after we schedule your surgery. We recommend attending two to four weeks before your surgery.

You will learn about exercises you can do before and after surgery, the surgery itself, what to expect during your hospital stay, and how you will work with nursing and physical and occupational therapists. We will help you identify any equipment you may need as you recover. We will also discuss how you can actively participate as a member of the team to help achieve the very best outcome with your new joint replacement. There is also time for questions and answers. The class will take about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Please plan for additional time if you choose to complete your lab work on the day of class.

Ask your surgeon about scheduling attendance at the joint replacement preparation class as soon as possible!

Before your surgery

Each patient is different and each patient's recovery after joint replacement surgery is different, however, here is generally what to expect before surgery.

  • Having a blood draw performed by a Henry Ford provider
  • Having any radiology or imaging exams ordered by your Henry Ford doctor
  • Meeting with your surgeon to review your current health status and discuss your upcoming procedure.
  • Review your current medication list with your surgeon. You may be advised to temporarily stop taking certain medications several days before your procedure.
  • Review the before surgery, during surgery and after surgery instructions given to you by your Henry Ford care team.

Remember, it is important to follow the instructions given to you by the hospital, doctor or doctor’s office the night before surgery.

What to expect the day of surgery

On the day of surgery, be prepared for the following:

  • Arrive at the hospital at the time you were advised
  • Prior to surgery, you will meet with and be prepared by the anesthesiologist and nursing staff.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Follow the specific instructions given to you by your care team

What to expect after surgery

Your recovery and rehabilitation process plays a very important role in making your joint replacement surgery as successful as possible. Following the post-operative instructions given to you by your Henry Ford care team will ensure that you are back on your feet and returning to your normal activities quickly and safely.

Depending on your joint replacement surgery, you can expect the following after surgery

  • Instructions on what you can and cannot do immediately following surgery
  • A follow-up appointment with your surgeon
  • A physical therapy and/or occupational therapy treatment plan
  • Information on any special medical devices or support aids you may need such as slings or braces
Joint Replacement Virtual Visits

Meet with a provider from the comfort and safety of home.

Schedule Appointment Online

If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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