How to Prepare for your Child’s Inpatient Surgery

Preparing for Your Child’s Orthopedic Procedure - Inpatient Surgery

Prior to your procedure, you and your child should have had a clinic visit with the surgeon to ensure that all your questions have been answered, and a full medical evaluation was completed.  If you need another appointment to discuss your child’s surgery, post-operative course, and address any additional concerns, we will accommodate that at your request. Feel free to bring a notebook to take notes.

Hours Before Surgery

  • Check-In Call: You will receive a call from the nurse with your check-in time 2-3 days before the surgery.
  • Stop Eating/Drinking: When the nurse calls to give your check-in time, they will inform you of the time for your child to stop eating and drinking and when to check in.
  • Medical Issues: Notify our medical assistants if your child develops a cold, cough, fever, or any scabs/open wounds on the limb to be operated on before surgery, as these issues may increase the risk of infection.
  • Visitor Policy: Only parents are allowed on the day of surgery, no siblings or friends. Visiting hours will be provided by the nurse after your child has been moved to their room.

The Night Before Surgery

Shower at night and use CHG wipes if provided. Use the wipes as directed, starting from the hairline and moving down to the feet. Ensure clean pajamas are worn afterward. Repeat the process the following night if advised during your pre-op visit. CHG wipes will be provided at your pre-op visit.

The Day of Surgery

  • Personal Bag: Pack a small bag with loose-fitting clothing and easy-to-put-on shoes. Remember to bring glasses or contacts if needed for reading and signing documents before surgery. Glasses or contacts will need to be removed for surgery, so please bring a case.
  • Early Check-In: Arrive at least 1.5 hours before your scheduled surgery time. There might be unforeseen delays, so bring along entertainment such as books, iPads, or magazines to keep your child occupied. Flexibility on the surgery day is appreciated.
  • Jewelry and Valuables: Remove all jewelry and leave valuables at home.

Post Procedure

Recovery in the hospital will include

  • Lung function exercises to prevent lung and circulation complications.
  • Physical therapy and Occupational Therapy begin the first day after surgery to gradually progress towards walking, (or transferring to a reclining wheelchair if your child does not walk due to a neuromuscular condition.) They will also have new tasks/milestones that they will need to meet daily to be discharged home.
  • Incision care
  • Bathing
  • Activity levels/restrictions
  • Gradual return to eating, drinking and using the bathroom normally.

Recovery at home

  • Your care team will provide you with a timeline of your follow-up visits and guidelines for caring for your child and when they can return to various levels of activity after surgery.
  • In some cases, accommodations for school are needed.  Your child might also need a specialized car seat, or other assistive devices (wheelchair/walker/crutches).  Anticipating these needs beforehand can significantly contribute to a more seamless transition post-surgery. Please feel free to discuss any specific requirements or questions you may have regarding additional equipment with your surgeon and their team. Your comfort and well-being are our top priorities, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.