What to Expect: Hip & Knee Replacement Surgery at Mass General

Hip & Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

Dr. Harry Rubash, Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a patient

Dr. Harry Rubash, Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, with a patient

What should I expect once I have decided to have hip or knee replacement surgery?

Your surgeon's office will schedule the following for you:

  • Surgery
  • Pre-admission Testing evaluation
  • Follow-up appointment after surgery

Your surgeon will provide you with specific information on how to prepare for your surgery, your stay in the hospital and any follow-up care. Before scheduling your telephone interview with Case Management, review Patient Guides on our Patient Education page.

Contact MGH Case Management at 617-724-6860 to schedule your telephone interview with the MGH Pre-Admission Orthopaedic Nurse Case Manager. You should call once your surgery has been scheduled so that your interview can be scheduled approximately one month prior to your surgery. The purpose of this interview is to make custom arrangements for your continued recovery following your hospital stay. The interview takes approximately 20 minutes.

If your surgery has been scheduled and is less than one month away, or you are unable to keep your phone interview appointment, notify Case Management as soon as possible at 617-724-6860.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Following my joint replacement surgery, how long will I recover in the hospital?

A: Patients typically stay in the hospital two to three days following surgery. Some patients qualify for the EXCELerated Recovery Program. This accelerated rehabilitation program is for patients that are planning to be discharged to their home. Your surgeon and case manager can provide you with further details on this program and let you know if you qualify.

Q: Where will I recover following my stay in the hospital?

A: Your Preadmission Orthopaedic Nurse Case Manager will assit you in selecting a recovery setting suitable for your needs. Many patients are able to discharge directly to their home. After-hospital recovery options include outpatient physical therapy, home care services (nursing and/or physical therapy) and skilled nursing facility rehabilitation.

Q: Which websites do you suggest for further research?

A: Our Patient Guides, which can be found on our Patient Education page, provide essential step-by-step guidance on the joint replacement process including from how to prepare for surgery, what to expect after surgery in the hospital, recovery at home and important information for your family members. Other important information and videos are available through our Patient Education page.

Additional information can be found on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' website.