Preparing For Knee Surgery

Preparing yourself for surgery

If you and your surgeon decide that knee replacement is right for you, a date will be scheduled for your surgery. Several things may be necessary to prepare for surgery. For example, your surgeon might ask you to have a physical examination by an internist or your regular doctor.

Because it's likely you’ll need blood transfusions during your surgery, you may want to donate one unit of your own blood, or possibly two units if your surgeon feels it is needed. All preparations for surgery should be discussed with your surgeon.

Preparing your family and friends

You may need help with bathing, using the toilet, meals, laundry, housework, shopping, going to your doctor's office, and exercising for several weeks.

Contact family members or friends ahead of time to make the necessary arrangements. If you don't have someone to help you at home, ask your doctor about home caregivers.

Preparing your home for recovery

A little time spent getting your home ready before your surgery can make a big difference in your recovery. Here are some helpful hints for around the house:

House in general

  • Remove throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting
  • Remove electrical cords, telephone cords, toys, and other tripping hazards
  • Fix or be aware of uneven flooring and surfaces
  • Provide good lighting
  • Cover slippery surfaces with carpets that have nonskid backs
  • Place regularly used items such as remote controls, medications, and reading materials in convenient and easy-to-reach locations
  • If your mail is delivered to an outdoor box, contact your post office to request delivery to your door

Kitchen

  • Stock up on canned and frozen foods
  • Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them
  • Store food in a cupboard that’s waist to shoulder level
  • Place frequently used cooking supplies, pots, pans, plates, and utensils on the counter or where they can be easily reached

Bathroom

  • Stock up on toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, medications, and other personal items
  • If your shower has doors, replace them temporarily with a curtain
  • Put a chair in your shower
  • Get a hand-held shower head
  • Get a raised toilet seat
  • Get a shower sponge with a long handle
  • Put handrails in the shower and next to the toilet
  • Place a slip-proof mat in the shower
  • Install a nightlight

Bedroom

  • Set up your bed on the first floor if you can
  • Wash all your towels, linens, and dirty clothes
  • Place loose clothing and pajamas in waist- to shoulder-level drawers or closets
  • Install a nightlight

Other

  • Make sure you have easy access to a phone. Consider using a cordless or cell phone
  • Reachers and grabbers will come in handy
  • A desk chair with wheels can make it easier to get around
  • To keep your hands free to use for balance, consider using a walker basket, fanny pack, small backpack, or an apron with large pockets to hold things you'll want nearby
  • Rent/buy/borrow plenty of books, movies, music, and puzzle books
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To find a doctor near you, click the ‘find-a-doc’ link. For printed information on joint replacement, call 1-800-HIP-KNEE.
Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement or another treatment is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of implant wear, loosening or failure, and pain, swelling and infection. Zimmer Biomet does not practice medicine; only a surgeon can answer your questions regarding your individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.