Knee replacement surgery is a major procedure that requires careful planning and preparation and close collaboration between the patient and their healthcare team. Your orthopedic surgeon and their team are there for education and support before and after the surgery. However, you as the patient should be making preparations, as well, for greater surgery success and a comfortable recovery.
In this article, you will find several things you can do to help ensure everything goes smoothly with your knee replacement surgery.
#1 Prepare Mentally and Emotionally for Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a big deal, both physically and emotionally. It’s normal to feel anxious about undergoing such a major operation. Talk openly with your surgeon, and be sure to ask any questions you have about the procedure itself, so you feel as informed as possible going into it. Inform your loved ones about your upcoming surgery, so they can provide support during this time. The more prepared you are mentally and emotionally, the better equipped you’ll be to handle any challenges that come up during recovery.
#2 Quit Smoking Before Surgery
If smoking cigarettes is part of your daily routine, now is the time to quit. Smoking significantly increases your risk for complications after any kind of surgical procedure, including joint replacement surgeries like knee replacement. In addition, nicotine slows down healing by constricting blood vessels and reducing oxygen levels in tissue. For a faster and more effective recovery, you must quit smoking ahead of the procedure.
#3 Start an Exercise Program Prior to Surgery
Exercise helps improve range motion following joint replacement surgery by helping maintain muscle strength around the new implant site, providing good support to your new knee implant, and help make recovery easier. Being in good physical shape also helps make physical therapy exercises easier after surgery. Consult your surgeon before starting any new exercise program before surgery.
#4 Arrange for Transportation Home
You will not be able to drive yourself home following surgery due to the anesthesia, pain medications, as well as the restriction to your leg’s movement. You should arrange for transportation through a family member or friend ahead of time. In fact, you will likely need their help for future transportation for at least a few weeks following the procedure.
#5 Make Dietary Changes
Surgery puts stress on the body, and eating healthy foods rich in nutrients helps promote healing. It is better to start eating healthier before the surgery, so you are in good condition for the procedure.
#6 Set Up a Recovery Area at Home
Have everything ready beforehand, so once you return home from the hospital, your only focus will be on resting and recuperating. Keep clutter out of the way, so you don’t have a tripping hazard anywhere. If your bedroom is upstairs, put together a recovery room on the ground floor of your home. You will have mobility limitations, especially immediately after surgery, so you won’t be able to go upstairs. You should also arrange your bathroom for comfortable and safe use. Finally, have a family member or friend stay with you for the first few days following the procedure, so they can help you get around your home and help with chores or meal preparation.
#7 Follow Post-Operative Instructions
Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for recovery, so make sure to follow them. The instructions will help you prevent infection and other complications after knee surgery. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the surgeon or clinic staff for clarification.
Knee Replacement Surgery in Baltimore, MD
The orthopedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland are among the most trusted and experienced in knee surgery in Central Maryland. Our services include diagnostics, treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. If you choose us for knee care, expect comprehensive and top-notch treatment.