Preparing for Hip & Knee Replacement

Surgery is a team effort at Cedars-Sinai, and you are the most important member of the team. We believe that patients who play an active part in their care will have the best experience. Knowing what to expect is the first step to a smooth recovery. It is also important to set goals for your recovery.

Choosing Your Coach—the First and Most Important Thing to Do

Your coach is the person who will help you before and after your surgery. This person may be your wife or husband, a family member or a friend. Pick a coach who will support you throughout your experience. You can have more than one coach. Your coach will help by:

  • Going with you to pre-surgery appointments
  • Going with you to the hospital on the day of surgery
  • Taking you home after your surgery
  • Going with you to the post-surgery appointments

When you return home from the hospital, your coach will need to help you for about five to 10 days. You may need help fixing meals, getting dressed and moving around your home.

Important Cedars-Sinai Phone Numbers

We are here to help you in any way. Please call us with your questions or concerns about your care.

Joint Surgery Ambulatory Care Management (ACM) Program: 310-248-8049

Physical/Occupational Therapy: 310-423-6281

Case Management/Social Worker: 310-423-4446

Enhanced Home Health Program: 310-423-4446

Spiritual Care (Rabbi or Chaplain): 310-423-5550

Patient Financial Services/Billing: 323-866-8600

Getting Ready for Your Surgery

Planning and being prepared will help you have less worry and anxiety. This will lower your stress and help you focus your attention on your recovery. This information will help you get ready for your surgery and your stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Nurse helping patient walk on crutches
  • Call your primary care doctor to make an appointment for your pre-op medical exam
  • If you have heart problems, talk to your cardiologist about your joint surgery
  • If you need to get work done on your teeth, finish it now
  • Do not drink any alcohol
  • Stop smoking or using tobacco
  • Eat healthy foods 
  • Keep exercising as directed by your surgeon or physical therapist
  • Complete your pre-op medical clearance
  • Talk to your joint surgery ambulatory care manager—they will call you
  • Prepare your home for recovery with your coach
    • Get a nonslip mat for your shower or bathtub
    • Make space in your home for a walker or using crutches
    • Get extra groceries and supplies
  • Find someone to take care of your pets, children or any elderly people
  • Create a HealthLoop account so that you can stay in touch and receive reminders from your care team
  • Pre-register for your surgery
  • Fill out an advanced healthcare directive
  • Make sure that things you use often are easy to reach
  • Get CHG soap from your surgeon's office or pharmacy
  • Make sure your coach or someone is available to take you home after your surgery
  • Ask your coach to help you do a fresh load of laundry (towels, bed sheets, clothes)
  • Get any extra groceries or supplies
  • Talk to your ambulatory care manager if you need help or have any concerns
  • Do not eat any food or drink any liquids after midnight. Your surgery will be canceled if you eat or drink any food or liquid after midnight.
  • Do not drink alcohol the day or night before your surgery 
  • If you have any new prescriptions, make sure to pick the medications up from the pharmacy
  • Pack your hospital bag
  • Shower with CHG soap the night before and morning of surgery
  • Try to relax and get a good night's rest

What to Know on the Day of Surgery

Doctor holding woman wrist

Your surgery scheduler will give you instructions about when to be at the hospital. You should check in at the hospital with plenty of time to meet your care team and get ready for surgery.

When parking, please park in one of the patient parking areas so that your parking ticket can be validated. We offer discounted parking on the first and last day of your stay with us. Once we validate your parking ticket, your cost will be $5. Take your parking ticket to the information desk on the street level of the South Tower for validation.

After you check in, a staff person will take you to a pre-operative waiting room before you go to the operating room. We will give you an ID wristband that has your name and other identifying information. Members of the care team will ask you your name and look at your ID wristband many times while you are in the hospital. Checking your ID helps us keep you safe.

We give you a hospital gown to change into, and we will put your clothes and other belongings into a bag with your name on it. We will give the bag to your family members or to you when you go to the recovery room.

A nurse will make sure that the information in your medical record is correct. The nurse will check your vital signs and do a short physical exam. He or she may also do extra tests if you need them.

You will meet with your anesthesiologist and talk about your medications. You will be able to ask any questions you have. A nurse or anesthesiologist will put an intravenous tube (IV) in a vein in your arm or hand. The IV is for fluids and medications.

Your surgeon or physician assistant will meet with you and make sure that everybody agrees about the type of surgery you are having. They will mark the surgery site (the place where the surgery will be done) with a pen.

Your coach, family or friends can stay with you until you are ready to go to the operating room. Your care team will let them know when it is time to go to the waiting area. This is where they will wait while you have your surgery. The wait usually lasts two to three hours, from when you go to the operating room to when you go to the recovery room. When your surgery is over, your surgeon will let family and friends know how the surgery went and how you are doing.

Meet the Expert Team

Our team's goal is to get you back to the activities you love doing.


Learn about what to expect when recovering from a joint replacement.

Make an Appointment

We're available 24 hours a day by phone. You can also have us call you back at your convenience or send us a message.