|The information below outlines details for a typical orthopedic surgery. Contact your doctor for more specific information.
Before Your Procedure
The night before surgery, please follow the prepared instructions that your surgeon and pre-admission nurse have given you. After midnight, you should not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or take any medication by mouth. If you routinely take blood pressure, heart or seizure medications, you may be asked to take your medications with a sip of water the morning of the surgery.
Day of Surgery
When you arrive at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, you will check in at the Patient Assessment Center and change into a hospital gown and prepare to go to the holding area just outside of surgery. Remember: no make-up or jewelry, no contact lenses, no underwear and no dentures can be worn to surgery.
Usually, patients are taken to the preoperative holding area in a wheelchair or on a stretcher. Family and friends will proceed to the surgical waiting room on the second floor of Richardson Tower. Once you arrive in the holding area, a nurse will start an IV line and complete the physician's preoperative orders.
Several types of anesthesia are available. The anesthesiologist will visit you in the holding area to discuss your anesthetic.
When you arrive in the operating room (OR), the surgeon and anesthesiologist will proceed with their work. The length of surgical time is usually two to three hours, depending on the procedure. After surgery, you will be transported to the Post Anesthesia Unit (PACU). You may have an oxygen mask on your face, IV equipment and other special equipment. A volunteer will inform your family and friends about when they can see you.
When you arrive in your room, your vital signs will be checked along with the circulation in your legs and feet. Special equipment will be placed and checked frequently.
Your physician and anesthesiologist will determine which method of pain control is best for you. The four most common methods are: Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump, epidural, anesthesia injections or oral medications.
- PCA Pump: Follow this link for more information about the Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump.
- Epidural: Epidural pain medication is administered through a small tube in your spinal column. A machine will regulate the dosage for you.
- Pain Injections: Injections might work best to relieve your pain. When using this pain control option, it is best to take the medication before the pain is severe. Do not hesitate to inform the nurse if your pain medication is ineffective.
- Oral Medications: Oral medications are usually started on the third day after surgery when your IV or epidural medication is discontinued.
Surgical procedures are painful. We will assist you with pain control, but usually pain cannot be totally eliminated. Pain medications are usually ordered every four to six hours if necessary. We will assist you in coordinating your pain medication before any therapy sessions. You are encouraged to ask for your pain medication 30 minutes before therapies. Resources for relaxation exercises, spiritual help or coping are available upon request.
Recovery depends on your participation in various activities of daily living. You will be required to increase activity and walking (if allowed). The therapy sessions are important and take priority over visitors and phone calls. Coordinating your pain medications before therapies will increase your tolerance and participation. Participation in activity orders, such as walking and sitting in a chair, and respiratory treatments prevent complications.
Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We encourage you to limit visitors to two for short periods of time to provide time for rest and therapy (special exercises). Children are encouraged to visit for short intervals. Keeping noise to a minimum will show consideration for our other patients.
Rooms have a call bell at the bedside that is answered by intercom from the nurses' station. Encourage visitors to dial direct and call back if you are not in your room. Each phone can be direct dialed from outside between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. by dialing 817-250-2 plus the room number. Dial "9" before dialing local numbers. We encourage brief phone calls to allow more time to help your loved one recover.