Post Operative Joint Replacement Checklist

When a patient is released home after joint replacement surgery, they are often given multiple pages and packets of instructions. Many patients and even family members have related to me that they did not remember (or couldn’t find) the instructions they received upon discharge from the hospital. Because of this, I developed an organized, condensed post surgical handout, with the basic information emphasized, and blanks for the clinician to customize. Having clear instructions available improves outcomes. When we make the information easy to locate, we set people up for success!

Things to include on a joint replacement care checklist:

-Pain medication instructions and management (reminders to not run out on the weekend)!

-Icing instructions.

-Elevation or positioning Instructions.

-Correct donning, doffing and timing for compression hose!

-Bandage changing instructions and infection prevention.

-Exercises to do- how many and how often.

-Deep breathing exercises for stress or post op recovery.

-Activity: walking time or distance and frequency, safety with assistance or assistive device, weight bearing, protective equipment.

-General home safety instructions.

-When or why to call for assistance, and number to call.

Important reminders for safe joint replacement surgery recovery:

A person’s risk of fall increases 30 percent in the first 12 months after a joint replacement surgery. (Yang Liu, 2020)

According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, even with proper care, around 3 percent of post-op joint replacement patients will develop DVT.

According to the America Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, Approximately 1% of joint replacement patients will develop a post op infection. Timeliness of treating the infection is imperative. One of the biggest indicators is pain in the joint even at rest.

Patients frequently struggle with adhering to discharge instructions. You can improve that with organized, clear written instructions. (Fernandez-Lazaro, 2019)

Handouts to help with joint replacement care.

Home Health and outpatient nursing, occupational and physical therapy care all play extremely important roles in reducing re-hospitalization and increasing patient success. Improve understanding and adherence with health instructions by using organized and straightforward senior focused health handouts:

Check out Creative Home Therapy for a Post Op Ortho Printable, and other senior focused handouts to purchase senior health care packets !

Check out the ortho handouts packet available on CreativeHome Therapy on

If you are new to home health senior care, here is a link to a 57 page home health clinician ebook with lots of helpful tips and information!

Other posts You May Like:

Joint Replacement Preparation

Pain Medication Information

Patient Adherence and Recovery

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