What to expect on the road to recovery

patient information regarding orthopaedic surgery

Knowing what to expect when preparing for your upcoming surgery is the best antidote to nerves and fear you may be experiencing.

We want you to understand exactly what will happen during your hospital stay. If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to  talk to Dr O’Farrell and his medical team.

how to prepare

pre-operative information

Once you decide you are ready to proceed with the advised upon surgery, Dr O’Farrell will start the informed consent process. This means he will walk you through the various risks and benefits you can expect following the surgery. 

What you need to know before surgery

When preparing for surgery, there are some basic things that you should know that will make the admission into hospital a less stressful event. Here is what you can expect:

  • Follow pre-surgery directions and diet: Unless you’re having only local anesthesia, you may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your procedure. This is because of the rare risk of food or liquid in your stomach getting into your lungs while you’re under sedation or general anesthesia.
  • Bring a friend: You won’t be allowed to drive after surgery, or even after a few days in the hospital if you’re taking pain medication. Plan to have someone take you home.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: Wear or bring loose-fitting clothing. Your body might be sore or swollen from surgery, or you may have bulky bandages over your incisions. Leave jewellery and valuables at home.

Frequently Asked

What should I expect immediately after surgery?

With just about any orthopaedic surgical procedure, including joint replacement surgery and revision surgery (replacing a worn-out artificial joint from previous surgery), you’ll have some pain and swelling.

Dr O’Farrell and his clinical team will work with you to effectively manage your pain and ensure you’re healing as expected.

How long does it take to recover from orthopaedic surgery?

Many factors determine how long it will take for you to fully recover and see the benefits of orthopaedic surgery. For some patients, recovery takes a few weeks while for others, it can take several months. Depending on your overall health, the condition for which you were treated and the type of surgery performed, you may be able to go home the same day or several days later.

In most cases, you’ll be discharged to your home. A small group of patients may need to spend a few days at a skilled nursing facility before they can return home. Talk to Dr O’Farrell to learn more about what your individual recovery plan may look like.

Will I be able to do everything I used to do after surgery?

While the goal of surgery is to restore function and get you moving without pain, there are usually some limitations after orthopaedic surgery. Talk to Dr O’Farrell about your expectations and he will guide you on what you may and may not be able to do once you go home.

What kind of pain will I have after surgery?

Pain is relative and your tolerance for pain may differ from that of the next person.

It’s natural to experience some pain or discomfort at the surgical site as well as some possible bone/joint tenderness after surgery. Dr O’Farrell and his clinical support staff will work closely you and your home-based caregivers to determine the best pain management strategy for you.

What is arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that requires only small incisions thanks to a device known as an arthroscope.

It lets Dr O’Farrell see inside the body and view the specific area being worked on during surgery without the need for large incisions.

what to expect

post-operative information

As your surgery date gets closer, you might feel uneasy. But the more you know about what to expect, the less nervous you’ll be. Take a few minutes to learn how the day will unfold.

the road to

Recovering from surgery is greatly dependent upon the type of surgery you will be having. An outpatient procedure, such as hand surgery, will have a far different recovery period than an invasive inpatient procedure like hip replacement surgery. Let’s focus on recovery from an inpatient procedure.

  • Recovery From Anaesthesia: You may need a few hours in the recovery unit until the anaesthesia wears off. During most recoveries, the patient will wake, breathing on his own, while being monitored closely for any complications from surgery.
  • Pain Control: Pain control during this time is essential, as movement can cause an increase in pain level. Being pain-free is not a reasonable expectation, so pain should be controlled in order to enable movement, coughing, and sleep.
  • Hospital Discharge: Once the surgeon determines that the patient is well enough to be discharged, the patient will need assistance to either return home or be transported to an after-care facility if they are too weak to care for themselves.

Frequently Asked

Are there alternatives to surgery?

During your appointment with Dr O’Farrell, he will investigate the root cause of your injury and pain. In doing so, he will identify the best treatment plan that best suits you as well as the road to recovery. 

Should a non-operative option be the best option for you, this will be presented and discussed during your appointment.

How long does the surgery take?

The duration of your surgery may vary and this is mostly dependent on the complexity of the type of surgery you will be getting.

Dr O’Farrell will advise you on the estimated duration leading up to the operation date.

How long does a cortisone injection last?

Cortisone shots are used broadly and effectively for a range of orthopaedic conditions. There are no medical restrictions about the types of conditions that can be treated with these injections. However, because cortisone acts to suppress inflammation, conditions that cause acute inflammation are most likely to respond favourably.

Where can I find more information for my particular condition?

The best place to get more information is to visit the Procedures page. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us with your questions and concerns by either emailing or calling us. 

Here are our contact details:

I am scared of surgery, what now?

The feeling of anxiety before going under surgery, also known as preoperative or preoperational anxiety, is incredibly common. A lot of patients who know they will have surgery will start to experience it. Anxiety before surgery is essentially described as unpleasant stress, uneasiness, or tension that results from the fears and doubts of patients.

The best way to overcome this is to develop trust in your medical team and educate yourself about what to expect. If you have any questions, speak to us as we are here to help you.

compassionate care for

Hand & Upper Limb Conditions

Dr O'Farrell and his team of dedicated anaesthetists and clinical support staff focus on treating patients who experience injuries in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. 


Tendonitis may be the most common cause of elbow pain but there are other sources of pain, such as Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, elbow dislocation and etc.


The shoulder is a complex joint that is often the site of injury, such as clavicle fractures, rotator cuff injuries and shoulder dislocations.


Pain the in the hand can be caused by several conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, DeQuervain's Syndrome and osteoarthritis.


Problems in which a limb is the wrong shape or length, and function is affected may require some form of limb reconstruction.


Injuries like knee ligament reconstruction happen when playing sports or exercising and the severity can range from minor to very serious.

Non-Operative INJURIES

Upper limb conditions can often be addressed without resorting to surgery. With proper assessment, a non-operative solution may be viable.