Preparing for Knee Surgery
Your doctor may try to reduce your knee pain through medication or minor surgery (arthroscopy). If these treatments don't help enough, your doctor may recommend full or partial knee replacement.
Preparing for Surgery
See your primary care provider or dentist to treat health and dental problems before surgery. This will help improve healing after surgery. If you smoke, try to stop or cut down as surgery risks and recovery rates will improve.
Your surgeon will ask about the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Some do not mix well with anesthesia and others, like aspirin or ibuprofen, can increase bleeding. To avoid problems during surgery, you may need to stop taking certain medications before surgery.
Have tooth or gum problems treated before surgery and finish any dental work that has been started. If you don't, germs in your mouth could enter your bloodstream and infect your new knee joint, delaying your recovery process. In extreme cases, an infection in the new joint may require that it be removed.
Your primary care provider will want to ensure you are physically prepared for surgery.
- You may have an ECG (electrocardiogram) to find out what anesthesia is best for you. You may also have a chest X-ray and lab or blood tests.
- Your doctor will talk to you about health problems that need to be controlled before surgery. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two common ones.
- For your best recovery, eat a healthy diet and lower or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- If you smoke, try to quit before your surgery. This step may improve healing and reduce complications after your surgery.
- You may need to replace blood lost during surgery. You may be able to donate your own blood before surgery. A drug called epoetin alfa may be given before surgery to help reduce the need for a transfusion.
Before your surgery, reduce household hazards and limit the amount of reaching and stair climbing you'll have to do. Helpful tips include:
- Stock up on canned and frozen food and store food and supplies between waist and shoulder level.
- If you normally sleep upstairs, prepare a room in your home's main floor, or set things up so you only have to go upstairs once a day.
- Pick up clutter, remove any throw rugs from your walking path and tape down electrical cords.
- Arrange for help. After your surgery, you won't be able to drive for several weeks.
- Ask a family member or friend to deliver groceries or help you run errands.
- If you live alone, ask someone to stay with you for a few days after your surgery.