One to three days before surgery you will come to the Orthopedic Clinic. This is called your "pre-op workup."
On this day, the doctors and nurses will:
Make sure you are healthy for surgery. If you are sick this day or a few days before, let your care team know. Your surgery may need to be postponed if you are sick.
Ask you and your parents questions.
Tell you what will happen the day of and after your surgery.
Talk about caring for your pain after surgery. They will teach you how you can rate your pain. One way your pain will be treated is with a machine called a PCA pump (patient controlled analgesia). It has a button you push to give yourself pain medicine through your IV. An IV is a special tube like a straw in your vein. You will get a handout about the pump so you know how it works.
Talk about how you will need to roll after surgery. It is called logrolling.
Talk with you about using a breathing exercise device. It is called an incentive spirometer. It helps you exercise your lungs. It makes you cough and deep breath. Coughing and deep breating help clear your lungs and prevent pneumonia.
Teach you leg and ankle exercises. These keep the blood moving in your legs while you are getting stronger again.
Answer any questions you have.
The nurses taking care of you after surgery will also talk with you about these. Plan to be in the hospital 3 to 5 days.
The nurse will teach you what to do the night before surgery.
You need to:
- Wash your hair the night before surgery. If you have long hair, put it up. Pigtails or braids are good.
- Wash with the special cloths they give you. They will teach you how to use them.
- Remove finger and toenail polish.
The anesthesiologist may talk with you. This is the doctor who will put you to sleep before surgery.
- Talk about how they put you to sleep.
- Answer any questions you have.
- Talk about any medicines you take each day. Then tell you whether or not to take your medicines the morning of surgery with a small sip of water.
Tell the doctors or nurses about allergies you have to medicines, foods, tape, or latex (rubber products).
Your stomach needs to be empty when you to go sleep. So, you may not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. This will help keep your stomach from getting upset after. Do not eat salty foods the night before surgery. They can make you feel thirsty when you wake up.
You cannot have sunburn, rash, or sores on your back at the time of surgery. These can lead to infection.
You will get a phone call 2 to 3 days before your surgery. They will tell you what time to check-in.
Please ask any questions you might have. Your care team wants to answer all your questions before you leave your work-up day.