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Orthopedic Patient Journey


At your pre-assessment appointment, you will meet a medical doctor who has been consulted by your surgeon to complete a perioperative assessment for medical clearance. The medical doctor will work closely with you and your surgeon to help reduce the risk of surgical complications. Nursing staff and the orthopaedic navigator will complete a nursing assessment and provide patient education specific to your elective procedure.

Additional labs and tests may be ordered at this time to ensure your readiness for surgery. Any non-surgical issues will be addressed at your pre-assessment appointment and through your hospital stay by a medical doctor.

If you have any questions about the pre-assessment, please call 812.996.5220.

Day 1: Day of Surgery

Upon registering at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, you and your family will meet your surgery care nurse. Your nurse will complete an evaluation/assessment, review your medications, and help prepare you for surgery (place an IV, clean your surgical site, give medications as needed, and check your vital signs). A lab technician will draw blood if ordered by your surgeon.

Your surgeon will then speak with you and mark the operative site prior to surgery. Your family will be sent to the waiting room once you are taken to the surgery holding area. At this time, you will meet your anesthesia provider who will discuss your anesthesia plan. They will keep you sedated and pain-free during your surgery.

Once your surgery is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room for approximately an hour where a nurse will closely monitor your vital signs, pain, nausea, and operative site as you are waking up from anesthesia. At this time, your surgeon will provide an update to your family.

From recovery, you will be transferred to your Post-Surgical patient room. Your family will be able to visit after you have been evaluated by staff. You will continue to be monitored closely by a nurse. Some patients will be asked to walk, with assistance, later this day. At this time, you may also have your first physical therapy session. A case manager and/or social worker will meet with you to discuss a plan of care tailored to your needs.

Day 2: Post-Op Day 1

Your blood will be drawn early in the morning to ensure lab results are available for your surgeon and medical doctor when they come to visit you. Physical therapists will continue to work with you on your exercise program twice a day. You will be encouraged to sit up in a chair for a portion of the day. Be sure to continue deep breathing exercises to help prevent post-op pneumonia. Staff will assist with bathing as needed. Quiet time occurs every day from 1:00-1:30 p.m. to allow time for you to rest. A case manager and/or social worker may meet with you to confirm your rehabilitation needs.

Day 3: Post-Op Day 2

Most activities from the previous day will be repeated. Each day, you will become more independent. Pain management will continue to be monitored closely. You may need a laxative if you become constipated, which is a common side effect of narcotic pain medications. Depending on your progress, you may be discharged this day.

Day 4: Post-Op Day 3

You will repeat activities from the previous day and prepare for discharge. Someone will need to drive you home. If going home is not the best option for you, other options for extended recovery will be discussed with you by a social worker or a discharge planner. You will receive written instructions about your follow-up care needs. We will assist in making arrangements for any follow-up therapy or equipment needs.

For more information, please contact the Orthopaedic Navigator at 812.996.5220.

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