What to Expect

Learn how to prepare for orthopedic surgery at El Camino Health, as well as what to expect after surgery. 

If you're having orthopedic surgery, you can rest assured that you're in good hands. The orthopedic team at El Camino Health is nationally recognized for excellence in orthopedic surgery, including hip and knee replacement, spinal fusion and treatment of hip fractures. Some of the nation's best orthopedic specialists will perform your procedure as part of a highly skilled and integrated care team.

Focus on Patient Comfort

At El Camino Health, we make your comfort a top priority. Our facilities in Mountain View and Los Gatos are ideal for people recovering from orthopedic procedures. To further enhance care, we survey our patients and consider all their responses carefully. We use this valuable feedback to implement new practices that improve patient care and comfort.

We want you to feel at home while you're here. After your surgery, you'll stay in a private, well-appointed room that can accommodate a family member or guest overnight.

Preparing for Surgery

A specialized nurse coordinator will assist you before and after surgery, ensuring you’re well-informed every step of the way — including pre-surgery instructions and information about anesthesia. You'll also have access to educational classes, videos and print materials about your orthopedic procedure to help you prepare.

Learn more about hospital admissions guidelines, as well as what to expect the day of surgery.

What to Expect After Surgery

During surgery, while you’re still under anesthesia, your surgeon may place a urinary catheter into your bladder, with an attached urine-collection bag. The catheter may or may not be left in place overnight.

After surgery, you'll spend about an hour in the recovery room before being moved to your private room. If you'd like, a family member can stay with you. We encourage family members to be involved in your rehabilitation, including attending your physical therapy sessions. Their participation can help them better assist you once you're home.

During your hospital stay, your nurse will monitor your blood pressure, heart and breathing at frequent intervals. You’ll be asked to change positions in bed, cough and do deep-breathing exercises, which promote circulation and expand your lungs to prevent infection.

Managing Your Pain

Immediately following surgery, you’ll receive pain medication and you’ll have an IV in place to receive fluids, antibiotics or other medications for 24 hours. Your nurse will remove your IV prior to your discharge.

Pain medications are provided through a variety of methods, including IV, oral and localized injections. Your surgeon will individualize your pain management plan of care. In addition to pain medications, your care team may also use other pain management techniques such as ice therapy, positioning and walking to make you more comfortable.

Planning Your Discharge

A discharge planner or social worker will meet with you the day after your surgery to help you plan for your needs once you leave the hospital — whether it’s obtaining equipment or arranging for home physical therapy, if ordered by your surgeon.

Your nurse will provide written discharge instructions and review them with you and your family before you leave. If you have any concerns during your recovery, be sure to call your surgeon.

Time to Return to Health