FAQs following joint replacement surgery

How long will I be in hospital?

This is dependent on a few factors. That you are comfortable & managing to look after yourself, that you are confident with your walking, your exercises and that you are medically fit for discharge. You are usually in hospital for 4-5 night stay. Some people may be discharged earlier if Dr Savvoulidis is happy for you to go home.

How long is the recovery time for a hip/knee replacement?

Recovery time is different for each person. Remember that it is important that you rest once you get home. It is suggested that you rest on your bed for and hour in the morning and the afternoon. You should do your exercises and go for a short walk but do not over do it.

Should I go and see a physiotherapist after surgery?

It is suggested that you go and see a physio about 2 weeks after your surgery so that they can monitor your progress with your walking and your exercises. Continue with your exercises for at least three months to get an excellent outcome from your surgery.

When can I start playing sport again?

Generally six weeks for low impact sport and once reviewed by the Doctor. If you want to do any other high impact sport please check with Dr Savvoulidis before starting.

Can I use running as a form of exercise?

Gentle jogging only at six weeks after surgery.

When can I start hydrotherapy?

Once your dressing is removed and the wound has healed and it is dry and intact. Usually about 3 weeks after surgery.

When can I go back to work?

Sedentary job at about 3-4 weeks and heavy manual work or other physical work please wait until you are reviewed by Dr Savvoulidis.

When can I start driving again?

When you feel comfortable using your leg fully. For most people this is at about 4-6 weeks. Please also check with your insurance company as they may have specific rules when you can drive after surgery.

How long will I need help at home?

Each person is different in their needs at discharge home from hospital. You will be able to look after yourself on discharge from hospital. You will need assistance at home with general household duties, shopping and any outside work for about 4 weeks.

Do I have to take antibiotics prior to any dental work?

Defer any non-urgent dental procedures in the first 3 months after surgery. If emergency surgery is required within the first 3 months then recommended for LA extractions or deep curettage, root canal, and implants - Amoxycillin 2-3 grams orally 1 hour prior to precedure. Dental treatment after 3 months in a patient with a normally functioning artificial joint. Routine dental treatment including extraction - No antibiotic prophylaxis required. Dental treatment for patients with significant risk factors ie diabetes, immunocompromised, previous joint infection, cancer or rheumatoid arthritis the need for antibiotics should be discussed with the patient's consulting physician, dentist or orthopaedic surgeon.

When can I sleep on my side?

As soon as you are comfortable. There are no restrictions. You may find it helpful to use pillows for support.

How long do I need to be on the aspirin after surgery?

3 months from the date of surgery.

When do I stop the anti inflammatory drugs?

When you pain is settling and you are moving freely and feeling comfortably. Most people will have stopped their drugs by 3 weeks.

Why do I need an ultrasound 2 weeks after surgery?

As a precaution and to check if you have any deep vein thrombosis in your legs.

Why do I need an xray at 5 weeks after surgery?

To check for the positioning of your new hip/knee.

My leg is very bruised and swollen, what can I do?

It is normal to experience some ache in the joint, especially at night for the first few weeks after surgery which may require pain-killers.

  • Re the Knee: It is normal for the knee to be warm, swollen and stiff for 3-6 weeks after surgery. Some patients may experience, pain, swelling and stiffness for a number of months after surgery.
  • Re the Hip: It is normal for the hip area to be warm & swollen after surgery. You may even experience pain in the thigh muscle after surgery. There may be obvious bruising along the leg from the groin area and down the leg.
I have changed my dressing at home 3 weeks after surgery as instructed. When does this dressing come off?

The dressing can be removed one week later. If it should come off earlier than this you may leave it uncovered as long as the wound is dry and intact.

Will my new joint replacement trigger the metal detectors at the airport?

It depends on the sensitivity of the detectors at the airport but probably yes. As joint replacement cards do not have photo ID on them; we do not routinely offer them to patients. We would be happy to do so if a patient requests one.



Please be aware that due to COVID-19, our office hours may vary. Please call ahead to ensure there is staff in attendance.

More Info

To make an appointment with Dr Tom Savvoulidis, click here and fill out the online form, or call (08) 8331 9177
PHONE (08) 8331 9177
PRIVATE ROOMS 62 Kensington Road, Rose Park, SA