10 Reasons to Call Your Doctor After Joint Replacement Surgery

Complications such as infection or dislocation can occur after joint replacement surgery. It’s important to notify your doctor about symptoms that could indicate a potential complication.
October 13, 2020 | 1 min read

If you’ve undergone a joint replacement surgery, like hip or knee, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any concerns. His/her main priority is your safety and well-being. That being said, here’s what I tell my patients.

The following is not necessarily an exhaustive list of possible reasons to call your surgeon. YOUR surgeon’s post-operative instructions should be followed if any of the following conflict with the information your surgeon provided to you.

Call your surgeon if you experience:

  1. Fever greater than 38.5°C
  2. Swelling
  3. Drainage or redness at your incision site
  4. Gaps or breakage of your incision
  5. Numbness, tingling, or coldness in your operative limb(s)
  6. An unexpected increase in pain
  7. Constipation that does not improve with stool softeners
  8. Inability to urinate
  9. Nausea and/or vomiting
  10. Itching

If you experience any serious events such as shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of consciousness or altered mental state, loss of colour or warmth to your limb, fall, or are unable to move your operative limb, please go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately.

Written by Guillaume D. Dumont, M.D.
Orthopaedic surgeon
Paid Consultant of Zimmer Biomet

Guillaume D. Dumont, M.D. is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist in Columbia, South Carolina. He specialises in the arthroscopic treatment of hip, shoulder, and knee injuries.

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