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.

You are about to embark on a journey that will do more than simply mend your knee or hip. It will raise your spirits and change your life. Patients typically stay in the hospital for one to two nights. The length of stay will 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 things and 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

Are you ready for the healing journey ahead of you? It’s a process that your entire joint replacement team will help you with. At each of our Henry Ford hospitals, we provide joint replacement patients and their “coaches” an opportunity to prepare for surgery and recovery.

This class covers key information about your joint replacement and introduces you to your multidisciplinary team. 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 should you also complete your lab work on the day of class.

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
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** Check with your insurance carrier for coverage limitations.

If you can't find a date/time that works for you please call the provider’s office. Not all appointment types at all locations are available online.

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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