hip and knee care

Medication Management

Medication Management in Los Angeles

Ensuring healthy dosages after surgery

Managing medications after surgery is important to help your incision heal and ensure that your new joint is healthy. Taking too little or too much medication can be dangerous. Follow all instructions provided by your doctor and/or surgeon.

Pain medication

  • Take your pain medication at least 30 minutes before your scheduled physical therapy
  • Change your position every 45 minutes throughout the day
  • Prescription pain medications contain narcotics, which can cause constipation — increase fluid and fiber intake or use stool softeners or laxatives if necessary

Blood thinners

Surgery may cause blood to slow and clot in the veins of the legs. You may be prescribed blood thinners to prevent blood clots after discharge.

Depending on the type of blood thinner, you may need to get your blood drawn to check your blood-thinning level. You should watch for blood in the urine, nosebleeds, bleeding gums and excessive bruising, as these may be signs that your blood is too thin. Please call your physician promptly if you have any of these symptoms.

Recognizing & preventing potential complications

Blood clots can form in a leg vein and in your lungs after surgery and can be very dangerous. Signs of a blood clot include pain in the back of the knee, warmth and excessive thigh swelling that persists even with leg elevation. Contact your orthopedic surgeon promptly if you have these symptoms.

The following things can prevent blood clots:

  • Taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin, Xarelto or Lovenox prescribed by your physician
  • Doing foot and ankle pump exercises
  • Walking

Living with your new joint

To ensure the health and effectiveness of your new joint, it is important that you care for it properly.

All joint replacement patients need a regular exercise program to maintain their fitness and the health of the muscles around their joints. With both your orthopedic and primary care physicians’ permission, you should be on a regular exercise program three to four times per week lasting 20-30 minutes each session.

Be sure to follow your surgeon and therapist’s advice on using a walker, crutches or cane for a specialized amount of time after surgery. Following this advice and the precautions you’re given are important for the early healing of your new joint.

Sports & activities

Your new prosthesis is designed for activities of daily living, NOT high-impact sports. Walking, swimming, cycling and golf are recommended after your surgeon gives you the OK. High-risk activities such as skiing, running, jumping, rock-climbing and heavy lifting should be avoided since they may compromise the long-term success and function of your new joint and may also increase the risk of fractures around the prosthesis.

Follow-up care

Routine follow-up appointments are very important after discharge. Expect to receive a phone call from the hospital to monitor your condition. The number of follow-up visits will depend on your progress.