CRAIG MCALLISTER, MD | ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON

    (425) 823-4000

    CRAIG MCALLISTER, MD | ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    • What is outpatient joint replacement?

      Historically, all joint replacements were done as inpatients. This is largely because joint replacement surgery has involved large incisions, significant blood loss, significant pain management issues, and a wide variety of complications. For that reason, it's always been felt that joint replacement patients needed to be in the hospital. Now, with minimally invasive surgical techniques, sophisticated periarticular injections, multimodal pain management, and computer navigation, many patients are simply able to go home on the day of surgery and may not require hospitalization. This carries significant advantages in terms of decreased pain, decreased complication risks, improved patient satisfaction, and decreased exposure to the potential for hospital-acquired complications and infections.

    • Is SwiftPath a nationwide program or just a local program?

      SwiftPath is a national program that is continually expanding. For specific locations, refer to the surgeon locator map on the SwiftPath website.

    • How does SwiftPath Help me recover at home?

      SwiftPath protocols have been shown to decrease the time in the hospital as well as the pain after surgery, which helps with home recovery. SwiftPath surgeons also use online cloud monitoring techniques to follow your care at home after the surgery.

    • Why is it important to obtain a preoperative clearance from my family doctor?

      Preoperative clearance is very important. There is no one that knows you better than the doctor who has been taking care of you. We want to make sure your lungs, heart and kidneys are all working as best as they can be before surgery.

    • Will I need a ride home after my surgery?

      Yes, you are still under the influence of an anesthetic and pain medication. You will need a ride home from the surgery center or hospital.

    • When can I shower?

      Follow the shower instructions in your surgeon authored Patient Guide.

    • What other equipment will I need at home?

      Please refer to your Patient Guide to see what specific equipment your surgeon considers required, recommended or optional.

    • When is my leg “elevated”?

      In order to be elevated your knee needs to be above the level of your heart. If you are sitting on a recliner or chair, your foot will most likely need to be around the level of your shoulders. Lying flat makes it much easier to get your knee above your heart.

    • What are the signs of blood clots?

      Blood clots do occasionally occur after hip and knee surgery. The signs of a blood clot are swelling in your legs that is worsening and will not go down with ice or elevation. A blood clot can also cause marked tenderness and pain in the calf (remote in the surgical site). While some lower leg pain and swelling may be expected following a joint replacement, please call my office if you have any concerns.

    • Will I set the alarm off in the airport?

      Hip and knee replacements are made primarily of metal alloys. You can expect to trigger most airport alarms. If possible, inform the TSA agent of your joint replacement prior to passing through security. TSA no longer accepts "joint replacement cards." You should expect to undergo additional screening at airports and should budget your time accordingly.