Preparation & Planning

Once you have decided to have a joint replacement surgery, the staff of Heartland Orthopedic Specialists will provide you with a Joint Replacement Guidebook, as well as schedule you for appointments required to prepare you for surgery. You can expect the following appointments to be scheduled prior to surgery:

  • Preoperative History and Physical Exam

    Up to four weeks before your procedure, you will need to have a complete physical by your primary care physician to rule out any other medical problems that may interfere with your surgery. At this time, your doctor will take your medical history, review current medications, and order various tests that must be performed before surgery, such as blood tests, urinalysis, chest X-rays, and an electrocardiogram. Your primary care physician should advise you on which medications you should continue or stop taking prior to surgery. Please have a list of all your current medications (including supplements, multivitamins, etc.) with you at the time of your physical exam for review.

  • Preoperative Physical Therapy Appointment

    This is a one-time physical therapy session to instruct you in important preoperative exercises.

  • MRSA Swab
    Often coordinated with other appointments, a quick swab of the nares (nostrils) is performed to test for the presence of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
  • Preoperative Joint Replacement Class
    Held at Alomere Health Hospital, this class will prepare you for surgery. All patients are encouraged to bring their “coach,” a friend or family member, who will be involved in your recovery process. The role of the coach will be covered in the preoperative class.
  • Discharge Planning

Anticipate discharging to home after 1 night in the hospital after a total hip or total knee replacement, 2 nights for a bilateral knee or hip replacement. We want you to consider help at home after discharge and make plans ahead of time to have someone stay with you for a few days to assist you as needed.



Alomere Health staff will call to notify you of your surgery and scheduled admission times. Your medication list will be reviewed and entered into your patient chart at this time. You may not eat after midnight the night before your surgery but may consume clear liquids 2 hours prior to arrival time day of surgery. Please take a shower or bath and wash your body thoroughly. Try to rest and go to bed early.