Preparing For Total Knee Replacement
Before the Surgery
Your orthopedic surgeon will conduct a detailed health evaluation and a physical exam to assess knee motion, stability, strength and overall leg alignment. An X-ray and other tests may be done to determine the condition of the knee cartilage and soft tissues.
Your surgeon will review test results with you and discuss whether total knee replacement is your best option, including possible risks and complications. You will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare for the knee replacement procedure including information on exercises, diet and preparing your home in advance for your discharge and recovery.
You can schedule your Joints in Motion class around 30 days prior to your surgery and meet with your home care and physical therapy team to review your recovery and rehabilitation plan.
You should identify a care coach who can join you for the Joints in Motion class to learn about assisting you following surgery. We strongly encourage participation of your care coach in a physical therapy session while in the hospital and a plan for discharge.
During the Surgery
After being admitted, a preoperative nurse and physician will conduct a physical exam and review any recent changes in your medical history. Next, an anesthesiologist, along with your surgeon, will discuss the various anesthesia options with you. You will also be given a sedative to relax you. The total knee replacement surgery typically lasts for one to two hours.
After the Surgery
All our patients receive physical therapy starting in the recovery room and begin walking three hours after the operation is completed.
Once a patient is able to walk an appropriate distance and is able to climb up and down a flight of stairs, they are discharged home. A majority of our patients are able to go home from the hospital after one to two days with the assistance of their home care team.
Recovery and Outcome
After patients are discharged from the hospital, we send our physical therapy and home care team to the patient’s home. They typically receive one to two weeks of physical therapy, with our therapists visiting them five to seven days the first week and two to three days the second week.
Most patients recover in six weeks. At that point, you can drive a car or return to work and progress in your daily activities. Over the first year, the knee gets stronger as the bone and muscles get stronger over time. Our goal is to provide a knee replacement that lasts a lifetime.
For more information, please call 1-866-WINTHROP (1-866-946-8476).