Joint Pain Seminar at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
If you’re considering joint replacement surgery, but concerned about how you’ll manage at home, orthopedic surgeons with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Sugar Land have some important pointers for dealing with joint pain.
PREPARATION IS KEY
To ease your mind these surgeons have outlined what to expect before, during and after joint replacement surgery. These strategies can help ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home.
LEARN ABOUT YOUR SURGERY
Understanding the surgery can help lessen your worry and reduce your perception of pain. "Ask your surgeon how long the procedure normally takes, how much pain to expect afterwards and how to manage it," said Michael D. Kent, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Sugar Land. "If you’re still nervous, ask for suggestions and relaxation exercises or to prescribe a medication to help calm you. Also ask about recovery and how long it may take until you’re back on your feet."
FIND OUT WHAT TO QUIT
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about making a plan to quit at least one month before surgery. Avoid alcohol at least two days before and ask your surgeon which of your medicines, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements, to modify or stop. "For instance, aspirin and vitamin E can affect blood clotting, so you should stop them a few days before surgery," said Thomas B. Rivers, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Sugar Land. "Stop steroids a few months before the operation, since they can limit your ability to heal."
DESIGNATE A CONTACT PERSON
Your surgeon and other surgical staff need to know who to update about your condition or contact in case of emergency. Provide your designated contact’s name and phone number.
CREATE A MEDICAL INFORMATION FILE
“Place a list of all previous surgeries and conditions, plus allergies and diet restrictions, in a file,” Kent said. Include all medications you take and why as well as OTC drugs and supplements. Bring the file on the day of surgery for a smooth admission process.
TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS
Bring a copy of your insurance card or policy, and your living will if you have one. If you don’t have a living will or other advance directives, consider making one. Visit houstonmethodist.org/advance-directives to access the forms online.
Being fit before surgery shortens recovery time. Ask your doctor about exercises to tone your muscles and increase endurance.
PLAN FOR HOMECOMING
Because performing your usual routine, such as driving or shopping, may be difficult after surgery, plan to have household help. If you live alone, you may need to hire home-care services or ask a loved one to stay with you. You may also want to shop for items to maximize your independence, such as a long-handled sponge for bathing or a grabbing tool. The better you plan, the easier coming home will be.
FREE JOINT PAIN SEMINAR | Sept. 17
Is chronic joint pain slowing you down? Join Michael D. Kent, M.D. and Thomas B. Rivers, M.D., for a free seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 17, in Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Brazos Pavilion Conference Center. From diagnosis to rehabilitation, both physicians will discuss the latest medical advances to help you get back to the active life you enjoy. To register, visit events.houstonmethodist.org/jointpain-sl or call 281.274.7500.