Patient Instructions for Orthopedic Surgery

Patient instructions may vary, depending on your orthopedic care team. However, we recommend the following directions to help you and/or your loved one prepare for their upcoming joint replacement surgery.

Day Before the Surgery

Time of Surgery

The afternoon before your surgery, you will receive a telephone call to inform you of the time to report to the hospital. If your surgery is scheduled for Monday, you will receive a call on Friday.

What to Pack

Please bring the following items with you on the day of surgery:

  • any medication that has changed since pre-admission testing, in it’s original container
  • your sleep apnea machine with a record of current settings, if you have one
  • your dentures, hearing aides, eye glasses or other personal items, if you need them

You may also want to pack:

  • a light robe
  • a change of clothes, including comfortable shoes and socks for use in therapy
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • deodorant

It is not necessary to bring soap or linen. Your family will keep your belongings until you are settled in your room after surgery.

It is best to bring as little as possible to the hospital and to leave cash, jewelry and other valuables at home.

What to Eat

The night before surgery you should have a well-balanced meal. It is best to avoid very spicy food and foods that are high in fat.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. This will help prevent any nausea from the anesthesia.

Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, please arrive at the hospital at your designated time. There may be additional forms and testing to be completed prior to being taken to surgery.

You will need a ride to the hospital because you will not be able to drive your car home after your discharge.

Personal Hygiene

Shower the morning of surgery and put on clean clothes. Brush your teeth. Wear comfortable clothes, sneakers or shoes with rubber soles.

Do not wear makeup, hair or skin products or contact lenses.


You should not take any medications unless instructed otherwise. If you have been instructed to take medications on the morning of surgery, follow pre-admission directions.

When you arrive at the hospital, inform the nurse of any changes in your medications or treatments.

Food & Drink

Do not eat after midnight on the day of your surgery, unless instructed otherwise by your physician.