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Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Holland Bone and Joint Program  >  Care pathways for hip and knee replacements
Sunnybrook Staff

Navigating MyCare
for hip & knee replacements

Learn more about your hip or knee replacement surgery.

Below we will take you through a general pathway of care for those going through a knee or hip replacement at Sunnybrook's Holland Centre, from admission to post-surgery.

Your care pathway



Your arrival

On the day of your surgery, plan to be at the hospital at 6:15 a.m. This is a tentative time that is subject to change. You will receive a call two days before your surgery to confirm your admission time.

Please use the east elevators by the cafeteria. Go to the surgical patient registration area, located on the 5th floor in room 554. Due to space restrictions, only one person may accompany you. Other family members or friends may wait in the lobby or cafeteria area. Staff will let you know what time your surgery is scheduled.

More information to help you prepare for your surgery


Your Surgery

Getting ready

A nurse will meet with you and get you ready for surgery. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be taken and an I.V. will be started in your arm. Your surgeon will initial your knee or hip that will be replaced, and you will also meet your anesthesiologist. The operating room nurse will continue to get you ready for surgery.

The surgery

Surgery usually takes from one and a half to two and a half hours. Following your surgery, you will be taken to the post anesthetic care unit (PACU), where you will be monitored for about an hour. You’ll then be taken to your room. Your family and friends will be able to visit you once you have arrived in your room.


During your stay

Pain management

We’ll help you manage your pain during your hospital stay. Good pain control allows you to exercise and progress with your activity, which is important for a successful recovery.

A pain rating scale helps us communicate and understand the level of pain you are experiencing. This scale begins at “0” which is “no pain” and goes up to “10” which is “worst pain”. If the level of pain you are experiencing is preventing you from doing your exercises and being active, you should treat your pain.

Your care team will discuss which pain medication is best for you.

Get more details about pain control options

Your recovery

Did you know that getting out of bed and walking as soon as you can will help prevent many complications and allow for a smooth recovery? Here are some strategies:

  • Sit up for all your meals
  • Sit in a chair when you have visitors
  • Walk around the unit - either with help or by yourself if you’re able to
  • Do bed exercises on your own throughout the day

Leaving Sunnybrook

On your discharge day

You will usually stay in hospital for up to two days. Please arrange for someone to drive you home on the day of your discharge from the hospital. The planned discharge time is 11 a.m. (unless you're advised otherwise).

When you are ready to leave, your escort can park in the driveway in front of the hospital. They should tell the security guard at the front desk that they're here to take you home. Parking is only allowed for a few minutes in this area. If your travel time is greater than two hours, you should plan on frequent stops to get out of the car and stretch your legs.

Consider filling prescriptions prior to leaving so that you can take your pain medication, if needed, on the way home.

View before you go checklist, goals
View answers to common pain management questions

Have a bill to pay?

Settle your patient accounts online

Follow-up appointments

After hip or knee replacement surgery, you can expect to have a follow‐up appointment 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. At this appointment, you will be advised of the need for future follow‐up appointments. Please call 416-967-8617 for all appointment enquiries or if you are experiencing any new problems related to your joint replacement. Be prepared to provide your hospital card and health care information.

More details about your follow-up appointments

Physiotherapy Follow-Up

Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may be referred to an outpatient rehabilitation program:

View our list of outpatient physiotherapy clinics

Hip replacement follow-up

You will be given information in the hospital that will allow you to exercise and recover at home. You will be asked to attend a rehabilitation education class 6 – 8 weeks after your surgery to make sure that you are continuing to make good progress.

You will be given an appointment for an education class before you are discharged.

If you do not receive an appointment date/time, please make sure you call 416-967-8626 as soon as possible to schedule an education class. Before you call, please have your hospital card or health card number ready.

Knee replacement follow-up

You will normally be referred to an outpatient physiotherapy program that should start 8 – 10 days after surgery. This will usually be a group program, twice a week, for up to 4 - 6 weeks.

» Download a PDF version of this care pathway

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