You have probably been preparing for your knee surgery for weeks now, so make sure to run through the tape by following your preoperative (pre-op) instructions the week of your surgery. After all your presurgical appointments, home preparation, and knee surgery, you are probably tired and want to rest. But don’t slack on your postoperative (post-op) instructions, either. You’ve done a lot to make it this far, so reward yourself with an optimal recovery by following your post-op instructions to the letter. At ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics, we will be with you before, during, and after your knee surgery to ensure you get the best treatment. We will give pre- and post-op instructions that will be specific to you and help you thrive after knee surgery. Below, we provide general examples of pre- and post-op instructions, along with explanations for why it is important to follow each one.
What do I need to do before knee surgery?
Your specific pre-op instructions may vary, but here is a general list of things to do (and not do) before knee surgery:
- Get preoperative medical clearance from your primary doctor, if necessary. Also, check with your dentist to see if you need any pressing dental work. We all want to work together to ensure your overall health.
- Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ex: aspirin, ibuprofen) a week before your scheduled surgery. This one may be tough since you probably take them for knee pain relief, but stopping for one week can decrease blood loss during surgery. And soon, you will have a new knee and less pain! Acetaminophen may be an exception until the day of your surgery.
- The same goes for blood thinners. Your surgeon will collaborate with your primary doctor to determine when you should pause taking blood thinners before surgery.
- You may need to pause taking some supplements as well, including vitamin E and fish oil. These supplements can also increase perioperative bleeding. Check with your primary doctor.
- Schedule your physical therapy. We have physical therapists on-site, who will be available to help you pre- and post-op.
- Use that special antibacterial soap for the last few days leading up to surgery to prevent infection.
- Finally, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. We don’t want any food or drink coming up during surgery. And try to get plenty of rest!
What do I need to do after knee surgery?
Typical post-op instructions include the following:
- Keep your incision clean and dry and inspect it for increased tenderness, drainage, or redness. You’ll want to do this to prevent and monitor for infection.
- Refrain from washing the incision for a few days, until there has been no drainage for 24 hours. This will also help prevent irritation and infection of the incision area.
- Take your pain medication. This one should be easy. Do not deny yourself pain relief while you rest after knee surgery.
- As always, eat nutritious meals (small, frequent meals may be preferable) and hydrate, so your body is able to heal fully.
- Elevate your leg if you notice swelling.
- Use assistive devices until comfortable moving without them.
- Rest is important but so is moving! Walking at least 15 minutes a day can improve your recovery. But don’t push it. Avoid running and sports until cleared by your physical therapist.
- Attend physical therapy! At ORTHOKnox, our physical therapists will work with you to improve your range of motion, increase your flexibility, and strengthen your knee as you adjust after surgery.
Do you have questions about your knee surgery or want to schedule a consultation?
With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can perform your knee surgery, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!