Patient Education

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

In general, you may be told to:

  • -Stop medications that increase bleeding – 2 weeks before surgery stop all herbal supplements, weight loss aids, vitamin E and all anti inflammatory medications. .

  • -Fast the night before – No eating or drinking after midnight before surgery; if the operation is in the morning, [or 6 hours before the op] however, you may brush your teeth or have a few sips of water if you need to take medicines. Discuss the need to take medications such as insulin, heart or blood pressure pills with your doctor or nurse to make sure you don't miss them.

  • -Plan for post-surgery rehabilitative care – Total joint replacement recipients may need help at home for the first week, including assistance bathing, dressing, preparing meals and with transportation. Arrange for someone to help you at home. If you need to stay in a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility, a medical social worker can assist with arrangements.

  • -Total knee procedures do not require blood transfusion. You will not need to use donor blood or plan ahead to make an autologous donation of your own. There is minimal surgical blood loss. A reinfusion drain is placed in you knee at the at the end of your knee replacement.

  • -Make sure to take these things with you to the hospital:

  • -Recent X rays and scans to the knee.

  • -Exercise shoes with closed-in heel and non-slip soles

  • -Grooming items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

  • -A list of medications you are currently taking at home, including the name, strength and how often you take each medication

  • - A list of allergies (to food, clothing, medicine, etc.) and how you react to each one.

  • -Glasses, hearing aid, and any other items you use every day [Short gowns, pajamas, underwear, socks/stockings and one set of street clothes to wear home

  • -Leave jewelry, credit cards, keys and checkbooks home. Bring only enough money for items such as a newspaper, magazine, etc.