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How To Prepare For Knee Replacement Surgery

Prepare A Recovery Area

Preparing for your Knee Replacement Surgery

Due to mobility limitations, you will likely do a lot of sitting during the first few weeks after your return from the hospital.

Designate a recovery area with a sturdy chair to relax in. The chair should be high enough that it is easy to sit down and get up from. It should have arms and a solid back so you dont fall.

A recliner is a good choice because you can elevate your legs. Place a sturdy footstool in front of your chair if you dont have a recliner. Some chairs have a device to tilt you slightly forward, making it easier to get up.

Your recovery area should also contain items within arms reach, in case you need them quickly.

Consider having the following items on hand near your chair:

  • eyeglasses

Preparing For Knee Replacement Surgery

If you and your surgeon decide that knee replacement surgery is the best treatment for you, our medical team will give you the information you need to prepare, including personalized instructions, during appointments before your surgery. To get started, here are the basics.

What Are Some Exercises That Can Be Done

There are a variety of mobility exercises and flexibility exercises for you to perform, which can help with injury prevention. These were recommended in a separate article, Prehab Exercises to Perform at Home. We recommend speaking with your physician or a physical therapist before performing these, as a therapist can help make sure youre doing them with proper form and select the exercises that are best for your unique needs.

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Organize Medicine Or Pills For The Week

Im sure youve seen the medicine containers that have the day of the week listed on them. Buy a few of these and fill them up with vitamins or prescription medication. You know what pills and how much so plan in advance.

If youre like me, youll have a number of prescription medications to take right after TKR so be organized. You dont want to double dose .

Keep the pills on the counter or next to the couch where you can access them easily.

Related: Best Supplements and Vitamins After Knee Replacement

Conditions That Can Be Treated With Knee Replacement

Tips on How To Prepare For Knee Surgery

Knee replacement can be used to replace a knee joint affected by a range of conditions including:

  • Severe osteoarthritis
  • Ligament damage or infection that leads to severe osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crystal deposition diseases such as gout and pseudogout
  • Avascular necrosis death of bone following loss of blood supply
  • Bone dysplasias disorders of the growth of bone.

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Knee Replacements And Covid

Patients typically need to wait 8-12 weeks for knee replacement surgery, but with many hospitals delaying or cancelling elective surgeries due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be waiting even longer.2 This can be frustrating and disappointing, especially when the term elective makes your surgery seem optional .

Andrew Ko, a doctor at the University of Washington, told The Atlantic that, his hospital is prioritizing surgeries in which the length of your life is affected. The quality of life surgeries are the ones now getting postponed.3 This limits people coming in and out of the hospital and allows doctors and nurses to conserve their supply of personal protective equipment.

While you wait for your doctor to resume knee replacement surgeries, there are steps you can take to get prepared at home. To relieve your existing knee pain, prepare by purchasing aids youll use during recovery and complete knee exercises to get you ready for surgery. You can still be productive while you wait!

Why Use A Wedge Pillow For Knee Replacement

A wedge pillow for knee surgery is one tool that will help aid your recovery. After the procedure, your entire leg will be swollen. The quicker the swelling goes down, the quicker you recover. Elevating your legs for 15-20 minutes, several times a day will aid your body in eliminating leg swelling.

Another way to utilize a wedge pillow after knee replacement is to perform simple exercises while you elevate. When you perform exercises on your wedge pillow it helps the swelling go down even faster.

The knee replacement wedge pillow can also be moved down towards the foot of the bed and used as an ankle prop. Resting with your heel on the wedge and your leg as straight as possible, though uncomfortable, is essential. This position will stretch the back of your knee so it will eventually be straight. As you advance, you can perform ankle pumps and ankle circles in this heel prop position.

A wedge pillow for knee replacement also helps to prevent back pain. For the first few weeks after surgery, you will be spending a more-than-normal amount of time in bed. Lying flat in bed can increase tension on your low back and hips. Resting the weight of your legs on a wedge pillow will immediately take pressure off your back.

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Bring The Ice Chest Inside And Have Ice Ready

I always talk about ice and for good reason. It helps reduce inflammation, promotes recovery, and it helps numb the pain. In my opinion, ice is just as essential as a walking pole or cane.

The only problem is that icing can be a tedious task. I hated getting up from chair or bed to get ice packs and gel wraps from the freezer.

Even worse, our freezer is below the fridge so I have to bend over. We utilized our ice chest to keep ice ready to use on my knee. The ice chest was kept near my recliner or by the bed and I could fill up a bag easily. As the ice machine made ice we transferred it into the cooler.

I encountered a few problems with icing including pillow and blankets getting wet and the hassle of making ice. Im glad I used the Aircast Cryo Cuff and I wrote about it here on my blog.

Education And Exercise Program

Q& A – Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Your surgeon may ask that you participate in an education and exercise program prior to surgery. Research suggests that such a program can reduce your hospital stay and improve knee functioning after surgery.

The exercise portion of the program usually starts with simple range-of-motion exercises. It will then progress to strengthening exercises to help prepare your muscles and knee for the joint replacement surgery.

Some of these preparatory exercises include:

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Ial Knee Replacement Overview

A is also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty or unicondylar knee arthroplasty. In this surgery, damaged cartilage and bone are removed and replaced only in one diseased compartment of the knee. This differs from a total knee replacement, in which bone and cartilage from the entire joint are replaced.

Partial knee replacement is suitable for people who experience arthritis only in one compartment of the knee joint, rather than throughout the joint. It can also provide relief from pain and stiffness in some people who have medical conditions that make them poor candidates for total knee replacement surgery.

What The Alternatives To Knee Replacement

A healthcare provider may recommend knee replacement surgery after other treatments for knee pain dont help anymore. These earlier options may include:

  • Exercise or physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint which will provide stability.
  • Medications such as NSAIDs and cortisone shots.
  • Walking aids or supports and bracing.

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Theraband Ankle Dorsiflexion In Sitting

  • Sit on a sturdy chair
  • Wrap the middle of the band around the foot of your exercising leg
  • Bring the ends of the band under your opposite foot and step on them for stability
  • Hold the ends of the band in your opposite hand
  • Lift your foot upward against the bands resistance
  • Hold, slowly return, and repeat
  • When youve finished your repetitions on one leg, switch to the opposite leg and repeat

What Can I Do To Help My Recovery After Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery

Soon after surgery, you will be able to walk with a cane or a walker. But you will need help with everyday activities, such as:

  • Bathing.
  • Cooking.
  • Shopping.

Plan ahead to have a friend or loved one help you after surgery, or tell your healthcare provider if youll need help.

Your recovery will also be easier and safer if you adjust your home ahead of time. Things to consider include:

  • Bench or chair in the shower, as well as secure safety bars.
  • No tripping hazards, like cords and loose carpets.
  • Secure handrails along any stairs if you use stairs.
  • Stable chair with a back, two arms and a firm seat cushion, along with a footstool to elevate your leg.
  • AVOID reclining chairs as they DO NOT allow for proper elevation of your post surgical leg.

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Risks Of Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a common operation and most people do not have complications. However, as with any operation, there are risks as well as benefits.

Complications are rare but can include:

  • stiffness of the knee
  • infection of the joint replacement, needing further surgery
  • unexpected bleeding into the knee joint
  • ligament, artery or nerve damage in the area around the knee joint
  • persistent pain in the knee
  • a break in the bone around the knee replacement during or after the operation

In some cases, the new knee joint may not be completely stable and further surgery may be needed to correct it.

Who Is Offered Knee Replacement Surgery

A knee replacement is major surgery, so is normally only recommended if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections, have not reduced pain or improved mobility.

You may be offered knee replacement surgery if:

  • you have severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your knee joint and your mobility is reduced
  • your knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and sleep
  • everyday tasks, such as shopping or getting out of the bath, are difficult or impossible
  • you’re feeling depressed because of the pain and lack of mobility
  • you cannot work or have a social life

You’ll also need to be well enough to cope with both a major operation and the rehabilitation afterwards.

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Learn About The Procedure

Talk to your doctor. Learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Your questions may include:

  • What is the process for being admitted to the hospital?
  • What type of anesthesia will I receive?
  • What type of implant or prosthesis will be used?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • How long will my recovery take?
  • How will my pain be managed after surgery?

In addition, do not hesitate to voice concerns or speak up if you do not understand something about your treatment. Total Joint Replacement: Questions Patients Should Ask Their Surgeon can help guide you in your discussions with your doctor.

Ask Your Family To Be Patient With You

Exercises: how to prepare for a knee replacement

Just wanted to add this one. The mood in your house might be different when youre recovering. People will be concerned about you and youll require a lot of help.

Although youll be happy to return home, youll be in rough shape and your mood wont be the best. Be patient and hopefully your family will be patient with you. Keep your focus on improving and recovery, and try not to focus on the moment.

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Before Your Knee Replacement Surgery

Once you and your orthopedic doctor have decided that knee replacement is the right decision for you, you will have to schedule your surgery. Prior to your knee replacement surgery, you will be instructed on how to prepare for the surgery and what to expect after the procedure. Your orthopedic surgeon will suggest you to do some prehabilitation exercises, which will include stretching, strength training and other light exercises. You should follow the pre-surgery instructions and exercise program as it will help you get as healthy as possible prior to your surgery. The better your knees are before your surgery, the more quickly your body will recover and adapt to the new knees .

Here Are Some Of The Tips That One Should Follow Before Going For Total Knee Replacement:

  • If you smoke, cut down or quit your smoking habit. Smoking affects blood circulation, delays healing, slows recovery, and may also increase the risk of infection.
  • Eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, there will be more stress placed on your new joint. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend a weight loss program before surgery.
  • If you drink, do not intake alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery.
  • If you use any other types of controlled substances, tell your doctor. Opioids and other drugs can cause complications and can also impact your surgery.
  • Ask your doctor about Knee Replacement Exercises you can do before surgery. If you are having a hip or knee replacement, strengthening your upper body will make it easier to use crutches or a walker after surgery. For this, you can use Exercise Bike before Knee Replacement as it helps maintain the strength of your leg muscles.

In addition, ask about the physical therapy or Gym Exercises for Knee Replacement that will be prescribed after surgery. Once you become familiar with the exercises now, you will be ready to perform them after surgery.

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Hire Someone To Walk The Dog

If you have a dog or cat youll be happy to return home and see their smiles. But if Fido requires a daily walk you wont be able to do it until youre further along in recovery.

If you have a neighbor, consider asking them to take your dog for a walk once a day until youre up and moving around. Better yet, pay the high school kid down the street to do it .

If you dont have pets its one less thing to worry about, however, I do miss having a dog.

Have Your Cane Walker Or Walking Poles Ready

Knee replacement surgery

Make a point to get walking poles, a cane or a walker. Dont go to the hospital without a cane, walker, or walking pole waiting ready to use when you come home.

Its too late if youre ordering one of these after you get home. You need it ready-to-go as soon as you arrive at your home.

It will be your best friend on visits to the shower or toilet. It will help you get to your favorite recliner and assist you getting to the fridge for a snack.

Most people will be more comfortable with a walker or cane because they can handle more of your body weight. I used walking poles which helped a great deal for balance but due to the poles being taller the amount of pressure I applied to the poles was less

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How Does Partial Knee Replacement Differ From Total Knee Replacement

Most arthroplasties target the entire knee joint, an operation called a total knee replacement. But some people choose to have a partial knee replacement.

To understand the difference, it helps to know the knees compartments, or sections. It has three:

  • Inside .
  • Outside .
  • Under the kneecap .

The partial approach fixes a single section. So healthcare providers call it unicompartmental replacement. A total knee replacement addresses all three sections. Generally, only younger adults with symptoms in one knee section benefit from partial replacement.

Better Your Odds For Success By Controlling What You Can

The goal of PreHab is to ensure youre at your physical and mental best before surgery to increase the knee replacements success, benefit, and speed of recovery. Beyond exercising and boosting your body with nutrition that promotes healing, its important to go the extra mile to be in the best health possible.

How to Be in Your Best Health

  • Quit SmokingFor smokers, quitting smoking is the single most impactful thing you can do improve your safety and recovery. Smoking is associated with complications like wound infections, pneumonia, stroke and death. If you cannot quit for life, taking a one month time-out from smoking before surgery is the next best thing.
  • Lose Extra WeightFor those overweight, shedding some extra weight before surgery drastically cuts down your risk and improves recovery time.
  • Manage Blood SugarPerform extra due-diligence when managing stress levels and blood sugar before surgery. Its essential for diabetics to form a meal and medication plan for the week leading up to surgery.
  • Avoid Dental WorkDental work, including cleaning can release bacteria into your bloodstream. This bacteria can increase your chances of infection. Its best to avoid elective dental work in the weeks before surgery.

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When A Knee Replacement Is Needed

Knee replacement surgery is usually necessary when the knee joint is worn or damaged so that your mobility is reduced and you are in pain even while resting.

The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Other health conditions that cause knee damage include:

  • knee deformity with pain and loss of cartilage

Install Fall Prevention Equipment

Total knee replacement â Preparing for surgery (Full)

While you wont be walking much right after your knee surgery, its inevitable that youll need to move around your house. Walking is an essential part of your recovery.

A loss of balance and a need for space can increase the risk of a fall. Apart from decluttering, other preventive measures include:

  • installing a handrail in the bathtub or shower and next to the toilet
  • having a bath mat ready to prevent slipping

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