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Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery
Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery
Getting ready for a knee replacement begins weeks or months before your actual surgery. Below you’ll find a checklist of things you and your support person can do to prepare and some tips on how to get your body in the best shape possible to help make your recovery faster and easier.
What Can Be Helpful Before Surgery?
- Learn as much as you can: Get educated about knee replacement surgery by reading and watching educational material provided to you by your doctor/ surgeon. Ask your doctor/surgeon any questions you may have.
- Choose your support person: From taking you to the hospital and picking you up when you are ready to go home, you’ll need to identify someone who can support you through your surgery journey. For the first few weeks after returning home, this person should also support you with everything from preparing meals, to getting in and out of the shower.
- Prepare yourself for surgery: Make the necessary arrangements at home for your return after surgery.
- Reduce risk factors: Eat a healthy diet recommended by your surgeon to reduce complications before and after surgery.
How Can You Get Medically Fit for Surgery?
The hope with knee replacement surgery is that you can get back to doing what you love before you were interrupted by Knee Osteoarthritis. To get the best possible outcome, remaining as active as possible in the time leading up to your surgery may make your recovery easier. Some low impact exercises to help with your fitness, strength and movement before surgery may include: walking, swimming and stationary cycling. It is highly recommended to seek your Healthcare Professional’s advice before beginning any new exercise program. In addition to commencing a new exercise program, you may wish to consider:
- Having a check-up with your local doctor
- Stopping smoking
- Losing weight, if appropriate for you
How to Prepare Your Home
Your mobility and function will be restricted when you first return home. Below are some suggestions that may help make your home life as comfortable and safe as possible.
Walkways & Stairs
Prepare walkways to avoid slips and trips. Where possible, you should remove loose rugs and ensure carpet is secure with non-slip backing. Ensure your stairs have well anchored handrails.
Arrange furniture and lighting to support safe access when you return from hospital. Additional information can be found in the link below.
In the Kitchen
Prepare food ahead of time and store it in the freezer for simple reheating. Additional information can be found in the link below.
Toilet & Bathroom
You may need equipment to make it easier to shower or get on and off the toilet. While showering you may include a chair or stool with armrests as well as a slip-resistant mat. Discuss the best option for you with an occupational therapist.
Find a small bag that you can wear over your shoulder to carry small items. Initially, both hands will be needed to manage your walking aid.
Avoid slippers or shoes with open backs as they do not provide adequate support and can lead to slips and falls.
Plan Some Additional Support
You will usually be able to walk immediately after surgery, but you will need some support in the first 4-6 weeks. Additional information can be found in the link below.
Packing Your Hospital Bag
Below are some suggestions of items to bring to hospital:
- Any paperwork provided before your surgery
- All medications you take regularly including creams, drops and herbal medicines
- Identification, Medicare, concession cards and insurance details
- Contact names and numbers of family, friends and support people who will take you home from the hospital
- Short sleeved nightwear, mid-length robe, socks and underwear
- Loose comfortable day clothes that are suitable for exercise
- Non-lace-up, flat, closed shoes with a non-slip sole. Your feet will swell so make sure shoes are not too tight
- Current walking aid, if using any
- Toiletries, including tissues
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids and extra batteries, if applicable
- Dentures and containers, if applicable
- Entertainment such as books, magazines, music and headphones
This information is intended for residents of Australia only.
The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before you make decisions about your health.
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