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Preparing for Your Procedure

What to Expect

Leading Up to Your Surgery

  • Register for our Joint Success joint replacement education class.
  • Ask your doctor about starting upper body strengthening exercises to help you use a walker or crutches after surgery.
  • Start practicing pumping your ankles back and forth about 1,000 times a day. This is an exercise you will do after surgery to help prevent blood clots.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.

Pre-Admissions Appointment

At least two weeks before surgery, it is important to take care of all your pre-admission arrangements. Baton Rouge General offers a fast track registration process that saves you time and creates a touchless experience while on campus.

Surgery Fast Pass

Day Before Surgery

  • Unless otherwise instructed, don't eat or drink past midnight.
  • Follow pre-surgery cleansing instructions.
  • Bring a list of your current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and make a list of all known allergies and the reactions you experience.
  • If you take medication for a chronic condition, such as blood pressure or heart disorder, please ask your surgeon if you should take them prior to surgery.
  • Pack loose-fitting clothes and any personal care items.
  • Avoid bringing valuables.

During Your Stay

  • Your care team will consist of your surgeon, registered nurses, physical & occupational therapists, patient care assistants and other hospital personnel, all dedicated to assisting you in your recovery period.
  • You will participate in physical therapy twice a day, including one group session.
  • You will receive education regarding your procedure; recovery and exercises to help you and your coach better understand how to care for your new joint.

Surgery Day

  • Be sure to be well-rested.
  • Keep your knee immobilizer secured, if applicable.
  • Do not put a pillow under your knee (knee patients only).
  • Keep your leg straight in bed with toes pointed upward.
  • Expect to be evaluated by physical therapy (PT) if ordered by your doctor. This will include walking if you are able to do so safely with assistance and a walker.
  • You’ll learn about any post-surgical precautions, weight bearing status, and activity guidelines.
  • Your family and friends can get status updates on your surgery through our Surgery Tracker. Simply download the app or search "Baton Rouge General Mobile" in the App or Google Play store.


Your rehabilitation is so important on your road to a healthy and full recovery, and it begins while you are still in the hospital.

Day After Surgery

  • Evaluation from Physical Therapy, if you were not evaluated after your surgery
  • Sit out of bed for 30-60 minutes.
  • Walk with a walker and assistance.
  • You will be measured for your range of motion by clinicians who will work with you to increase your range by five degrees each day (knee patients only).
  • You will begin strengthening exercises.
  • Your home exercise program will begin.
  • You and your family will be re-educated about post-surgical precautions, weight-bearing status and activity guidelines.

Day Two After Surgery

  • Increase your time out of bed to at least one hour or longer if able.
  • Walk with a walker and assistance.
  • Review your home exercise program with your family.
  • You will be knowledgeable about post-surgical precautions, weight-bearing status and activity guidelines.
  • You will complete step/stair training if necessary.

Discharge Day

  • Require little to no assistance getting in and out of bed and standing up.
  • Walk with a walker with little to no assistance for at least 50 feet
  • Increase your time out of bed to one and a half hours.
  • You will be able to do your home exercise program on your own and with your family.
  • Demonstrate good safety awareness with all activities.