Day of Knee Replacement Surgery
Do's and Don'ts for the Day of Knee Surgery
- Brush your teeth the morning of your surgery.
- Drink water up to four hours before your arrival time.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Remove all jewelry (including body piercings) and nail polish.
- Wear any makeup.
- Apply skin or hair products.
- Wear contact lenses.
- Take any diabetes medications. We will give you instructions for all of your medications.
Day of Knee Replacement Surgery - What to Expect
- Patients are prepared for surgery including starting IV’s and scrubbing your operative site. Your operating room nurse as well as your anesthesiologist may interview you. You will see your orthopaedic surgeon in the pre-anesthesia area where he will verify and initial your operative leg.
- Following surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will remain for one to two hours, possibly longer on a busy day. During this time, pain control is typically established, your vital signs monitored, and an x-ray may be taken of your new joint. Dependent on the type of anesthesia used, you may experience blurred vision, a dry mouth, and chills. The team will work to make you as comfortable as possible.
- You will then be taken to the Joint Replacement Center where the orthopaedic team will care for you. Only one or two very close family members or friends should visit you on this day. Most of the discomfort occurs the first 12 hours following surgery, so be sure to ask for your pain medicine before your pain becomes too intense. You will see the physical therapist who will teach you exercises you can do in bed. Try to do them every hour. You may get out of bed to your recliner today. It is very important that you begin ankle pumps right away. This will help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You should also begin using your Incentive Spirometer. Every day you will receive "Knee Keys," a daily newsletter outlining the day's activities.
All patients have a right to have their pain managed.
Pain can be chronic (lasting a long time) or intense (breakthrough). Pain can change through the recovery process. If you need more help with your pain management, talk to your nurse, the Orthopaedic Program Director, or your doctor.
Using a number to rate your pain can help the Joint Team understand the severity of your pain and help them make the best decision to help manage it.
Your Role in Pain Management
Using a pain scale to describe your pain will help the team understand your pain level. If “0” means you have no pain and “10” means you are in the worst pain possible, how would you rate you pain? A rating of 5 is moderate pain. Our goal is to help you maintain your pain level at less than 5. With good communication about your pain, the team can make adjustments to make you more comfortable. Try to relax, when you are relaxed medication works better.