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, are usually performed before the surgery.
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. Celebrex can be continued until the day prior to your surgery (except for total knee replacement).
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 Day Surgery, remember the following:
Have someone available to take you home – you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours because of the anaesthetic.
Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home – the combination of anaesthesia, food and car motion can cause nausea or vomiting.
After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
Keep the leg elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable.
Do not wait until you are in severe pain. If you wait until the pain is severe to take your pain medication you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.
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 9716 3500
St Luke’s Private Hospital on 9356 0200
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.