How To Prepare For Total Knee Replacement

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total knee replacement preparation

Total knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgery to replace the damaged parts of your knee with artificial parts. TKR surgery is indicated when wearing and tearing the knee joint due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injury, etc. The surgery takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally. Your surgeon will advise you on some dos and don’ts before the surgery to make your surgery smooth. This article covers the essentials you may need to do a few days before your surgery. 

Preparing For The Surgery 

The average waiting period for knee replacement surgery is 6 to 12 weeks. During this time, you can take steps to help assure a successful procedure and a speedy recovery. 

  1. Discuss Your Medical History: Your surgeon will discuss your medical history, family history, and the medications you are taking for other ailments (if any) in the initial few visits before the surgery. You should also inform your surgeon of any allergies or supplements you are currently on.
  2. Stop Certain Medications: You will be advised to stop taking specific medications around one or two weeks before surgery, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or opioid drugs for pain, because if they are not stopped some days before the surgery, they may cause bleeding during the procedure or may hamper the recovery post-operatively. 
  3. Stop Smoking and Drinking: You will be asked to quit smoking and drinking a few days before surgery. Tobacco can increase the risk of postoperative infections, and heavy alcohol consumption may interfere with the effects of anesthesia. 
  4. Diet: You will be advised to monitor your diet a week before the surgery as it may interfere with the anesthesia that is given. 
    1. 2 weeks before surgery-Omega 3 rich foods (fish) and spices (garlic and ginger) should be avoided 2as they interfere with the clotting of the blood and may cause bleeding during surgery.
    2. 1 week before surgery- Vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant should be avoided as they contain a compound called solanaceous glycoalkaloids (SCA) that breaks down the anesthetic drugs, causing the drugs to stay longer in the body; thereby delaying the recovery process. 
    3. 24 hours before surgery- Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables that contain high amount of fiber should not be taken as they stay in your digestive system during the surgery and make the surgery difficult. 
  5.  Getting a Preoperative Evaluation: Your doctor may advise you to undergo certain diagnostic tests at least 2 weeks before the surgery. The tests required may include blood tests, urine tests, chest X-rays, and electrocardiogram (a recording of the heart’s electrical activity). You may be asked for a few more assessments if required. 
  6. Reporting Any Recent Illness: Any recent illnesses you have had, such as cold, fever, urinary tract infection, throat infection, or skin rash, should be reported to your doctor before the surgery. This will be necessary as your doctor may want to postpone the surgery. 
  7. Consult Your Specialists: If you have any other medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may be required to consult with their respective specialists to ensure you are fit to undergo surgery. 
  8. Consult with a Dentist: If you plan to have any dental procedures done, such as extractions, you must schedule them well before the surgery.  

The Day Before Surgery

The day before surgery can be quite stressful, leaving you on the edge. You should follow the instructions given by the hospital staff for a smooth process.

  1. You will be asked to get admitted to the hospital a day before the surgery.
  2. Your nurse will give you clear instructions to fast from midnight, the day before surgery.
  3. Your surgeon will inform you of the reporting time to the hospital as well as the time of the surgery. 
  4. You will be asked to remove your jewelry, nail paint, and makeup. 
  5. Before the surgery, you will be informed about the anesthesia to be given before the surgery. Additionally, a physical therapist may also meet up with you to discuss rehabilitation after the surgery. 

Preparing your Home 

On reaching home after a TKR, it is important to have help to look after you till some days after surgery. Make changes to your home to avoid obstacles or activities that could cause injury or impede healing.

  • Have a clear pathway for movement and remove clutter around your home.
  • Remove all loose carpets inside your house. This will prevent the risk of falls
  • Arrange for a raised toilet seat with handrails, making the sit-to-stand position easy and comfortable.
  • Arrange for bed rails. This will prevent you from falling off your bed while sleeping.
  • Get safety bars/ handrails put near the shower. You can hold on to them while having a bath to prevent slipping and injuring your knee.
  • Get a  firm chair with a straight back and armrest. The armrests support standing up from sitting.
  • Get an extra pillow to support yourself from rolling onto your stomach at night.
  • Arrange for a temporary living space on the same floor to avoid climbing the stairs.

Key Takeaway 

Preparing for the Total knee replacement involves preparing yourself a few days in advance, a day before the surgery, and home preparations to enable you for a better recovery. Surgery can make you feel nervous and stressed, and we understand that. Medfin supports you at every stage of the surgery by guiding you, providing you with clear instructions, and preparing you for the surgery to speed up your recovery process.

Disclaimer: The content on this site is the copyright of Medfin and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. This should not be considered as a substitute for medical and surgical expertise. Results from any treatments or surgeries are subjective to an individual patient and the type of procedure/surgery performed. Please seek professional help regarding any medical concerns. Medfin will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.

Author: Medfin Medfin is the future of surgical care, that’s been helping people get access to the latest day-care procedures and top doctors at the most affordable costs.

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