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Preparing for Surgery

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Your doctor may try to reduce your knee pain using medications or through minor surgery (arthroscopy).

If these treatments don't help enough, replacing all or part of the joint may help.

Your surgeon will evaluate your knee joint to determine if you are a candidate for surgery. This evaluation will include a full exam and X-rays of your knee.

Depending on your age and the amount of damage, he may recommend replacing the entire joint or only part of it.

Preparing for Surgery
Be sure to see your primary care physician or dentist to treat health and dental problems before your surgery. This will help improve the healing process after surgery.

If you smoke, do your best to stop or cut down. Your surgery risks and recovery rates will improve.

»Learn more about MaineGeneral's smoking cessation program

Medications
Your surgeon will want to know about all of the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.

Some medications do not mix well with anesthesia. Others, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can increase bleeding.

To avoid problems during surgery, you may need to stop taking certain medications before your surgery.

Dental Work
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.