How Should I Prepare for Knee Surgery

We are reposting this blog by PJ Ewing who provides a thorough guide from pre-surgery planning all the way through the recovery process. 

 ‘Questions to Ask Your Knee Surgeon’ (and even the surgeon’s staff) presented below.
Early Exploratory Questions to Ask Your Knee Surgeon
  • What type of knee surgery would be best for me?
  • What results should I expect from this surgery? What are the usual outcomes for someone in my situation?
  • What are possible complications and how likely are they?
  • Can I do anything to increase the odds of a successful surgery?
  • Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? What can be done to relieve it?
  • Do I need to stop taking my medications before surgery?
  • How long will partial and full recovery take?
  • How should I prepare for being at home?
  • Can I speak to two or three of your former patients about their experiences with you?
Should I Actually Have the Surgery?
  • Is there any harm in waiting?
  • Am I too young or too old for knee replacement?
  • What else can be done for knee arthritis besides surgery?
  • What is minimally invasive knee replacement surgery?
  • Which type of replacement would benefit me?
  • How do I find out if my insurance will pay for knee replacement surgery?
  • Does insurance cover all of the costs or just some?
  • Does it make a difference which hospital I go to?
  • Should I learn to use crutches or a walker before I have the surgery?
  • Do I need to lose weight before surgery?
  • What is the right BMI (body mass index) for me to achieve before surgery?
Minimizing the Risks
  • Where can I get help quitting cigarettes or not drinking alcohol, if I need to?
  • How much help will I need when I come home? Will I be able to get out of bed?
  • How can I make my home safer for me?
  • What changes should I make at home so it is easier to get around and do things?
  • How can I make it easier for myself in the bathroom and shower?
  • What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
  • Do I need to rearrange my home?
  • What should I do if there are steps that go to my bedroom or bathroom?
  • Are there exercises I should do to make my muscles stronger?
  • What can I do before surgery to make the risks lower?
  • For which of my medical problems (such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure) do I need to see my doctor?
Leading up to the Surgery Date
  • Do I need to stop taking any medicines before my surgery?
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or other arthritis drugs?
  • Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements?
  • Other prescription drugs that my other doctors may have given me?
  • What should I do the night before my surgery?
  • When do I need to stop eating or drinking?
  • What medicines should I take the day of surgery?
  • When do I need to be at the hospital?
  • What should I bring with me to the hospital?
  • Do I need to use a special soap when I bathe or shower?
Tell Me About the Surgery
  • Will I need a blood transfusion during or after the surgery? Are there ways of saving my own blood before the surgery so it can be used during the surgery?
  • What is the risk of infection from surgery?
  • What will the surgery be like?
  • How long will the surgery last?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? Are there choices to consider?
  • Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? What will be done to relieve the pain?
  • What will my stay in the hospital be like?
  • How soon will I be getting up and moving around?
  • Will I have physical therapy in the hospital?
  • What other types of treatment or therapy will I have at the hospital?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • When will I go home after surgery?
  • Will I be able to walk when I leave the hospital? Will I be able to go home after being in the hospital, or will I need to go to a rehabilitation facility to recover more?
How Do I Maximize My Rehab?
  • What will I be expected to do as part of recovery?
  • Should I expect to be sore after surgery?
  • ​Do you believe a patient needs to be in pain to do well in rehab?
  • How long before I can ride a stationary bike (at least 110º range of motion)
  • How long before I am as strong as I was before surgery?
  • What is your opinion of the X10 Knee Recovery System™ for post-surgery rehab?
  • Do you recommend pre-hab work for strength and range of motion before my surgery?


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