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How can I prepare for knee replacement surgery?

Preparing for knee replacement surgery requires several steps.

Things you should do:

  • Make sure that all medical conditions are optimized.
  • Arrange appropriate home support for after surgery.
  • Be certain that all other nonsurgical options have already been tried. 

To prepare for knee replacement surgery, you should maintain your diet, weight and exercise regularly prior to surgery.

You can prepare for knee replacement surgery by checking if you have any medical conditions that need to be improved prior to surgery and visiting a physical therapist to learn about the devices you'll use during recovery.

Dr. Travis M. Hendry, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon
Below are things you can do that will help both you and your health care providers prepare for your knee replacement surgery:
  • Attend a pre-surgery class. Ask your surgeon if there is a pre-surgery class you can attend. These classes give you and your recovery coach additional instructions about preparing for surgery. You'll also get helpful advice about your surgery, your hospital stay and discharge, and your recovery.
  • Discuss current health conditions with your doctors. Many people have a few health concerns that can't be avoided. The better your health care providers understand your current condition, the better they can reduce the risk of complications with the surgery. 
  • Discuss all your medications with your surgeon. Some medications must be stopped a week or more before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding. These include blood thinners (Coumadin), anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, aspirin), and all herbal medications. Your surgeon will tell you which medications to stop, and when to stop them.
  • Have a physical exam and pre-admission tests. About two weeks before surgery, you will have a complete physical examination with your surgeon. Your surgeon will order tests such as blood tests, a urine test, x-rays, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • Have a pre-admission nursing interview. About two to three days before your surgery, a nurse will call you to review your health history, review your medications, and give you pre-surgical instructions. 
  • Prevent constipation. Bowel movements are important, and having one before you enter the hospital will help you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.