Dr Peter Johnstone - Orthopaedic Surgeon
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Preparing for Surgery & Procedure

Once you and your doctor have decided surgery is the best option for you, it is important that you understand what to expect from the surgery, and that you formulate a treatment plan to ensure the best post-surgery results. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery plays a critical role in your recovery. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.

Working with Your Doctor

Before surgery you are likely to be referred to an investigation clinic at the hospital where you may undergo routine tests, such as blood tests and x-rays together with a physical examination. At that time you'll be provided with more detailed information regarding your in-patient stay, and your specific procedure.

Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.

If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.

If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimise bleeding.  

If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery. Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.

Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.

Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.

Home Planning

Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.

Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won't have to reach and bend as often.

Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.

Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.

Consider a plastic chair in the shower to sit on while showering and have access to a hand held shower if possible.

There are many products and services available that can assist in making recuperation more comfortable.

Some of these are listed below:

Waterproof Cast Covers:

Limbo supply waterproof cast covers that you place over your leg or arm to waterproof casts and bandaging in the shower. They home-deliver within 48 hours Australia-wide. https://www.limbo.com.au

Home Delivered Food

Lite n’Easy provide home delivered meals if that is an option for you. www.liteneasy.com.au

Knee Scooters :

Knee Scooters are a fantastic alternative to crutches when you have been given the instruction of no weight bearing for any period of time.

Having your mobility limited can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Knee Scooters Australia hire scooters out from $35 per week. QLD stockists below:

Medical Accessories

Brisbane: 11/43 Lang Parade, Milton. Ph 07 3870 5955

Gold Coast: 1/151 Cotlew Street, Ashmore. Ph 07 5508 2720

Alfa Knee Scooter Hire

Ipswich area: Ph 07 3288 6810 or 0419 543 576

Preparing for procedure

Do not eat or drink anything from midnight the night before surgery.

If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following:

  • Have someone available to take you home. You will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home. The combination of anaesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting.
  • After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
  • If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
  • Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.

If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to call us on during office hours.

If you experience any excessive bleeding, swelling or unexplained pain, please present to Emergency at your nearest hospital. ??

Dr Peter Johnstone
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr Peter Johnstone
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Royal College of SurgeonsThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital AMA - American Medical Association AOA - American Osteopathic Association Mater Private Hospital Brisbane
© Dr Peter Johnstone Orthopaedic surgeon Arthroscopic surgery, Sports injuries, Joint replacement QLD Australia.