Preparing For Knee Surgery
Once you and I decide that surgery will help you, you’ll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterwards.
Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Before surgery, please discuss with me any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome.
Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, will be performed before the surgery. You will see a physician to check that you are in the best possible medical condition that you can be.
If you are having a knee replacement for the first time on that knee (primary knee replacement) I will discuss the option of patient matched technology with you. You will need to have an MRI an a standing Xray performed of your knee as a surgical planning tool.
Discuss any medications you are taking with me and your family doctor to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
Discuss with your me options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments prior to surgery.
If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint and make the anaesthetic safer.
If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to stop taking most of them ten days before surgery to minimize bleeding.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your anaesthetic and surgical risks. Smokers have higher complication rates including infection and delayed healing rates.
Please have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Report any infections to me. Elective surgery usually will not be performed until all infections have cleared up.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry. Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often. Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls. Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.
If you are having the right knee replaced driving may not be possible for up to 3 months (based on the RTA’s recommendation). Some people manage to drive at 6-8 weeks but this is very variable. If your left knee is being replaced then driving an automatic car is possible reasonably soon after the surgery.
If you have any questions please call one of our offices and speak with our staff. If you have an urgent problem out of office hours, please contact the hospital where your surgery was performed.
After hours please call:
Prince of Wales Private Hospital on 9650 4495
Sydney Private Hospital on 97163500
St Lukes Private Hospital on 93560200
Concord Public Hospital on 9767 5000
There have been studies showing significant differences in infection rates between smokers and non-smokers. While reducing smoking certainly makes your anaesthetic safer, it is important to quit smoking completely in order to reduce the potential complications at surgery.
This is particularly true of wound infections and pressure sores. The optimum period of stopping smoking is probably at least six weeks and may be related to the toxic combustion by-products of smoking. While nicotine is sometimes blamed for this, nicotine replacements such as patches, do not seem to increase infection rates in joint replacement surgery.
I strongly recommend that smoking is stopped completely six weeks prior to considering any elective surgical procedures.