Surgical Patients

Download your free guide

These guides are comprehensive booklets that are essential in knowing what to do; before, during and after your surgery. You will receive a copy of this book at the clinic when you are identified as a surgical candidate. You can also print these guides or save them to your computer. It would also be a good idea to share these guides with your family, care givers, and surgery buddy. You can easily email them too.

The details of our thorough approach

Consultation with Surgeon

This visit is to determine if you will be a candidate for surgery. If you are deemed surgical you will then see a rehabilitation team member for an assessment and fill out the necessary paperwork with a Nurse. This visit will be approximately three hours.

Consultation with Internal Medicine and/or Anesthesia

This visit is for the Internal Medicine or Anesthesia doctor to clear you for surgery. You must complete the lab requisition given to you when you signed the paperwork for surgery. Please go to the lab approximately two weeks before your appointment.

On the day of your appointment please remember to bring your medications and EKG to your consultation. This visit will be approximately two hours. Once you are cleared for surgery, you will receive a call from your care team when a surgery date is available.


Teaching Class

This is where we will answer all of your questions and help prepare you for surgery. We will help you understand what to expect after surgery and how to take care of yourself. This visit will be approximately two hours.​


You will need to call the hospital the night before your surgery date to get the time you will need to be at the hospital on the day of your surgery. The average hospital stay is approximately 1-2 nights.​


Two Week Appointment

You will meet with the your Case Manager to have your staples removed and will also meet with a member of the rehabilitation team for assessment. This appointment date and time will be given to you at your teaching appointment prior to surgery.​

Six Week Appointment

You will meet with your Surgeon and a member of the rehabilitation team. This appointment will be given to you well in advance.


Twelve Week Appointment

You will have new X-rays done and meet with your Surgeon and a member of the rehabilitation team. This appointment will be given to you well in advance.​

One Year Appointment

You will have new X-rays done and meet with your Surgeon and a member of the rehabilitation team. You will need to call the office about two months before your one year anniversary to arrange an appointment.​


Preparing for surgery

We will work with you to ensure you are as prepared for surgery as possible. While you are waiting for surgery, it will be important to start to prepare your body and your home for recovery.

Hip replacement and knee replacement are major surgeries, and patients must be prepared in every way for what they are going to experience. The process of preparing for surgery is called optimization, and it is designed to bring patients to their optimal state of readiness — medically, physically and socially — for surgery. Patients who are optimized are more likley to enjoy a successful recovery and return to normal function.

Rushing directly to surgery without taking the time to optimize for it will very likely result in poorer outcomes. The Alberta  model of care for hip and knee replacements recognizes this and builds in time for patients to reach their optimal readiness for surgery. This means the time leading up to surgery is not spent waiting idly.

To start the optimization process, patients undergo a series of tests.

  • Blood tests
  • An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • Assessment by an internal medicine doctor and an anaesthesiologist.

A customized optimization plan is prepared by the patient’s care team. The plan includes steps that may be needed to resolve or stabilize a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, anemia (low iron), and diabetes, so that it does not negatively affect the patient’s recovery.

Surgery could be delayed until blood sugar levels are reduced, a weight target is reached, or strength is gained. Medications may need to be adjusted.

Lifestyle changes are sometimes necessary for a successful surgery and recovery. These may involve:

  • Changes in diet to correct nutritional deficiencies.
  • Stopping tobacco use.
  • Doing exercises to build the strength and flexibility needed during recovery, especially when using a walker, crutches or cane.
  • Installing equipment in the home, such as grab bars and raised toilet seats, to make recovery safe and easier.
  • Complete any outstanding dental work and have your dentist complete a dental clearance form.

Among the most important steps when preparing for surgery is to find a support person who will provide both emotional and hands-on help leading up to surgery and during the recovery at home. This may involve:

  • Going with the patient to medical appointments and teaching sessions about hip and knee replacement.
  • Helping to find and install the equipment, such as grab bars, raised toilet seats and toilet armrests, that patient will need at home for a safe, successful recovery.
  • Translating information if there is a language barrier.
  • Driving the patient to the hospital for surgery and home for recovery.
  • Helping with bathing and other personal needs.
  • Changing bandages and taking blood thinner injections.


Exercising is the most important part of preparing for and recovering from your surgery. Please access the exercise guides down below and refer to them regularly.

Education Videos

Phase 2 Exercises

Community Partners


Be pro-active during your rehabilitation, walking is a great form of exercise and there are various programs around Calgary that can help you achieve a successful rehabilitation. The following programs are good suggestions to help you optimize your strength and range of motion. Stay active to gain strength and range of motion in your new joint.

Low impact gentle exercises Alberta Healthy Living Program UofC Joint Effort Program Kerby Center Calgary Fall Prevention Clinic

A healthy nutrition is necessary to improve your general health and the health of your new joint. To help maintain a healthy eating habit consider the following resources available to you:

Canada Health Food Guide Meals on Wheels Healthy U Achieving a Healthy Weight Kirby Centre AHS Online WeightLoss Program

Following surgery, it is important to stay mobile and practice a proper gait when walking. Having the proper walking equipment will help you achieve this. It is also important to have other equipment at home to help you rehab safely. Below are different vendors and organizations where you can get various equipment needed after surgery. Alternatively, you can go to any home medical supply store in your area to rent or purchase the equipment.

Red Cross MEDIchair Ability Medical Supplies CO-OP Home Health Care Health Plus Rexall Pharmacy and Med. Supplies Driving Miss Daisy Access Calgary (403)537-7770 Dreams Transportation (403) 590-7433 Black Diamond Regional Commuter Bus Service: (403) 933-7988