Common Questions



Total Hip Replacement

An important factor in deciding whether to have hip replacement surgery is understanding what the procedure can and cannot do...

Joint Replacement Specialist


Brian A. Silvia

Medical Associates - Dubuque, West Campus
1500 Associates Drive
Dubuque, IA

Tel: 563 - 584 - 4460

"Never hesitate to ask your doctor questions when you do not understand. The more you know, the better you will be able to manage the changes that joint replacement surgery will make in your life."

Will I have a private room?

The hospital has private and semi-private rooms that are assigned based on availability and medical necessity.

What can I do with my personal belongings and valuables?

Please do not bring any cash, jewelry, or other valuables with you. You may wish to bring your own pajamas, robe, or toiletries although the hospital does provide nightclothes and some toiletries. It is recommended to limit the amount of belongings that you bring.

Do I need to bring my own medications?

While you are in the hospital, any and all medications needed during your stay will be provided under the direction of our healthcare team. Please bring a list of all your prescription and non-prescription medications with you.

Do I need to pay for the television or telephone service?

All patient rooms are equipped with color televisions and there is no charge for this service. Telephone service for incoming and local outgoing calls is available to you at no charge. The carrier of your choice bills long distance calls directly to you.

What are visiting hours?

The normal visiting hours are 11AM to 8PM. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 14 years old.

How long will I be in the hospital?

The length of stay varies depending on medical necessity and progress in therapy. Most patients can anticipate discharge to home after 1-2days. 

How to I get to a rehab facility?

Patients are transferred by ambulance arranged by the hospital.

What if I am not ready for home?

The physical and occupational therapists will evaluate you on the day of your surgery. They will develop a plan with you for home, inpatient, or outpatient rehab. How well you can walk, get out of bed, and climb stairs will determine the plan for home or rehab.

If the therapist recommends rehab for me, where do I go and how long will I be there? Can I go where I want?

Patients determined to need inpatient rehab usually transfer to a center 3-4 days after surgery. The length of stay at a rehab center varies based on the individual patient's needs, but is usually 5-7 days. Some patient stays may be longer

Where you go to rehab depends on several factors including the level of care required, insurance, and bed availability at the rehab facility. Your case manager in the hospital will help you decide what is available during your stay

What if the therapist recommends a home discharge? Do I get any services?

Your case manager meets daily with your therapists to organize your care after discharge. Depending on your needs and insurance, referrals may be made for visiting nurses, in-home physical therapy, or outpatient services.

I was told that I will need to learn injections after surgery. I'm nervous about this. Why do I need these injections?

Patients need to learn to give themselves injections of a blood thinner to reduce the risks of developing blood clots after joint replacement surgery. Nursing will start the teaching with you after surgery. How long you will need to take injections depends on your personal risk of having a blood clot. Most people need to take the injections for only a few weeks following surgery.

Will I also get homecare if I go to rehab?

The rehab facility will refer you to the Visiting Nurse if you still require this level of care on discharge.

When can I safely travel?

Long distance (more than 1-2 hours) travel is best avoided for the first 3 months after surgery. Short distance travel is possible. Plan to take a short break to exercise your new joint and walk 2-3 times per hour.

I have no insurance. Do I have an option for rehab or homecare?

Your case manager will work with you and the therapists to determine your therapy needs. Rehab is not guaranteed and is not covered unless your insurance carries this benefit. Limited homecare agencies provide uninsured services. It is best to discuss your options with the financial services department before undergoing an elective joint replacement.