Just What You KNEE-d: How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery
November 25, 2022
Whether you have a total or partial knee replacement surgery scheduled, it’s surely been a long time coming, and you’re experiencing a whole spectrum of emotions. From the natural anxiety that surgery can trigger to the excitement of finally living life with less knee pain, you’re probably ready to get your surgery in your rearview mirror.
Preparing for knee surgery, or any surgery for that matter, is crucial to a successful procedure and recovery. It can also help reduce anxiety and stress by knowing what to better expect and how to be ready.
ONE MONTH BEFORE SURGERY
At this point, surgery likely still seems far away, but it’s time to start getting things in order. Starting with your at-home recovery needs, you can do the following:
- Get necessary assistive equipment to help do activities like walking, getting dressed, or using the restroom — such as walking aids, shoehorns, grab bars, reachers, raised toilet seats, and more
- Stock up on comfort items like ice packs, wraps, extra pillows, and loose-fitting pants
Take these steps to prepare your home for after your knee replacement surgery.
- Clear walking paths around furniture that are at least three feet wide
- Consider adding safety rails to your bathroom Move tripping hazards to avoid falls, such as rugs, toys, electrical cords, and clutter
- If you don’t already have one, create a one-level living space as much as possible
- Place items you regularly use or need within reach
Ask for help from your support system. Arranging for people to help you a month in advance ensures you don’t forget to ask for anything you need, and gives your loved ones time to adjust their schedules to support you during recovery.
- Set up child, pet, and household care
- Arrange help with errands like grocery shopping
- Make a meal schedule
Prepare Your Body
Working on your home isn’t the only thing you can do to get ready for knee replacement surgery. You can also focus on strengthening your body. Conditioning before surgery is known to help recovery. Studies also show losing one pound of weight can relieve four pounds of pressure on your knees. Try exercises, such as:
- Other low-impact activities
Another helpful step you can take is to cut back on substances. The effects of alcohol and tobacco can complicate your surgery and interfere with recovery. Furthermore, tobacco can increase the risk of developing blood clots after surgery.
ONE WEEK BEFORE SURGERY
Knee replacement surgery is right around the corner and nerves and expectations are likely high. At this point, you should be well prepared for your surgery. Take these final key steps as you near your surgery date.
- Go to your pre-op appointment, which helps ensure you’re physically and mentally ready for your procedure
- Ensure you’ve reviewed your medications with your doctor and make adjustments as necessary as some medications can cause issues — common types patients need to avoid, include: blood thinners, ibuprofen, aspirin, some types of antidepressants, MAOIs, and some vitamins and supplements.
- Arrange a ride home, and if you need help coordinating that, let us know
ONE DAY BEFORE SURGERY
The big day is here, and now is the time to tie up any loose strings. The following is a quick checklist to follow for final preparations.
- Pack your bag with the following:
- Books, games, or something else to keep you entertained
- Cell phone, charger, and headphones
- Comfortable clothes
- Picture ID and insurance and emergency contact information
- Toiletries and other hygiene items
- Reach out with any final questions
- Get a good night’s rest
Finding a Knee Replacement Specialist
If you’re ready to explore partial or total knee surgery replacement expert knee specialists at Beacon can evaluate your condition and work with you to find the treatment option that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Surgery might be the best solution for your situation, but we’ll work with you to ensure that it is. Schedule an online appointment today.