Preparing for Joint Replacement
Learn what to expect from joint replacement surgery at Torrance Memorial Lundquist Orthopedic Institute. You’ll feel more informed, empowered, and assured knowing we’re supporting you throughout preparation for this life-changing treatment.
Before surgery, you’ll need medical clearance—confirmation from your doctors that you’re healthy enough for treatment. Talk to your surgeon, primary care provider, and any specialists you see, such as a cardiologist. You may receive a physical exam, blood work, and tests that check your heart or lungs.
Exercise Before Surgery
You’ll make your recovery easier by getting in shape before total joint replacement. Ask your surgeon about our “prehab” (presurgical rehabilitation) program in partnership with Beach City Health District’s Center for Health & Fitness. Several weeks before surgery, a medical exercise specialist will lead you through physical activities to strengthen the muscles around your joint.
Preregister for Surgery
Preregister 14 to 30 days before surgery in one of these ways:
- By phone at 310-517-4754
- In person on the first floor of Lundquist Tower (campus map [PDF]) on a weekday between 8 am and 5 pm, no appointment needed
A nurse will ask about your medical history, family history and medications.
Watch our Total Joint Class video for details on how to prepare in the days and weeks leading up to surgery.
You’ll also want to prepare advance directives—documents you need if you become unable to make medical decisions. They explain who should speak on your behalf and which treatments you do and don’t want to receive.
Day of Surgery
When you come to the hospital, bring:
- Insurance card
- Prescription card if you have one
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, and CPAP device if you use them
- Nonslip shoes and loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
- List of medications, supplements, and vitamins you take, including the doses and days/times you last took them
Leave valuables at home.
Arrive at your scheduled time—usually two hours before surgery. Park in the main parking structure behind Lundquist Tower, and check in at the admission office on the first floor.
Your Time in the Hospital
After surgery, you’ll go to a private hospital room with a large window and plenty of comfortable seating for guests, who can visit any time. Feel free to invite a loved one to rest or spend the night on a sleeper sofa in your room.
Look forward to attentive care from a team that includes:
- Orthopedic nurses and certified nursing assistants – Tend to your health needs throughout your stay
- Nurse practitioner – Works to help you experience a smooth recovery and transition home
- Case manager – Makes sure you have the medical equipment, services, and support you need to achieve a good outcome
- Physical therapist – Starts working with you the same day as surgery to help you get out of bed and practice walking, exercising, and going up and down stairs
- Occupational therapist (if needed) – Teaches you how to perform daily activities like bathing, grooming, and getting dressed as you recover
Let us know how you’re feeling after surgery. To reduce pain as much as possible, your surgeon will offer these two types of relief:
- Small pump that delivers anesthetic (numbing medication) to your joint for up to four days
- Pain medication you take by mouth
You can’t avoid all postsurgical pain, but you’ll learn ways to manage it at home and help it fade sooner.
Learn how to make all aspects of your recovery go as easily as possible with our well-rounded support.