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Preparing for Your Surgery

Planning For Your Hospital Stay


If you are scheduled for total hip or total knee replacement surgery, you are invited to attend one of our Preoperative Education Classes. This class is designed to help you prepare for your surgery, discover what to expect during your hospital stay and review what to expect after you leave the hospital. Classes are offered twice a month. We recommend taking this class two to four weeks before your surgery. We encourage a family member or another support person to attend class with you. We fully support their involvement and assistance they will provide you with through this process. To register, call Janine Bodden Advance Practice Nurse, Joint Coordinator at 551-996-3197 or email JBodden@HackensackUMC.org. For upcoming class schedule CLICK HERE

Anti-inflammatory medications (over-the-counter or prescription) that you are currently taking for your joint pain may be requested by your surgeon to be stopped prior to surgery, so make sure your surgeon has an up-to-date list of your medications. If your surgeon does request you to stop these medications, inquire what you can take in place of them for your joint discomfort.


  • Bring an accurate list of your medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) with dosages and times taken
  • Do not bring medications from home unless told to do so by your physician. Check with your physician regarding which medications to take on the day of your surgery. 
  • Bring one set of loose-fitting, comfortable clothes such as pajamas, lightweight robe, sweatpants, shorts and T-shirts for therapy. Our staff will teach and assist you with dressing on your day of discharge.
  • Bring comfortable, low-heeled shoes that have an enclosed heel and toe, such as walking or tennis shoes. No open heel/toe shoes or slippers. Non-skid or rubber-soled shoes are preferred.
  • The medical center provides personal hygiene products. If you prefer your own personal hygiene products it is okay to bring them. You may also want to include lip balm.   
  • Bring a book, magazine, iPad or hobby item to help you relax   
  • Please leave all valuables at home


  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes gum, hard candy, water, soda, coffee, tea, beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • You may brush your teeth the night before and morning of your surgery



  • Ensure hallways and rooms are free of clutter and tripping hazards   
  • Organize your living areas to avoid excessive lifting, bending or reaching    
  • Store heavy and frequently-used objects at or above waist level (counter height)
  • Prepare and freeze meals/soups so that you have meal options once you return home.
  • Consider moving items in the lower parts of the fridge/freezer to a higher shelf 
  • Consider preparing a bedroom area on the main living level for short-term use upon your return home  
  • Set up a firm chair with armrests  
  • Arrange for extra help with household tasks if needed 
  • Keep an ice pack in your freezer for possible joint swelling after surgery. A bag of frozen peas will also work.


See our FAQs page and get your questions answered
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