Baytown Office 281-837-8371

Surgery Instructions for Total Knee Replacement

We will make the arrangements and call you
  • We will call your insurance carrier and make the arrangements for surgery.
  • We will call you to let you know when and where your surgery will be performed.
  • Please keep a pencil and paper by the phone to write down the information when we call you.
  • The exact time of your surgery will not be known until the evening before your surgery.

Before surgery

  • A blood transfusion is usually required. Before surgery, you will need to donate 2 units of blood that is either your own, a family member's, or a close friend's.
  • You need a history and physical by your family physician within 7 days prior to the day of surgery. If necessary, Doctor Neff or Doctor Boulden will perform a history and physical.
  • If you are taking medications, you should call your family doctor to find out if it is okay to continue taking that medication.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. This includes sips of water, coffee, or anything else.
  • Make sure you have someone to drive you home the day of surgery.
  • If you are 18 or under and are not married, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Do not wear jewelry or take other valuable items with you.
  • Do not wear make-up or nail polish.

Day of surgery

  • The average stay in the hospital is 3 to 7 days, depending on your general overall health and the help you will have at home.
  • Total knee replacement surgery is done either under a general anesthetic (puts you to sleep), or a spinal anesthetic (numb from the waist down).
  • The surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
  • Risks include blood clot, anesthesia complications, and infection.
  • The scar on your knee will be approximately 10 inches long.
  • You will be given a prescription for pain medication to take home with you.

After surgery

  • Following surgery, you will need to use a walker for 3 to 4 weeks and then use a cane for another 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Your staples will either be removed while you are still in the hospital or at your follow-up visit with your doctor. If your staples were not removed in the hospital, you will need to see us 8 to 10 days following surgery. Otherwise, you should schedule your follow-up visit one month following surgery.
  • If you notice any changes such as fever, bleeding, drainage, or unusual symptoms at all, you should contact our office immediately.
  • After surgery, you will be at risk of infection from total joint surgery. We will issue you a medic alert card as a reminder that if you should ever have any sort of infection, such as a urinary tract infection, or if you should have dental work or surgery, you will need an antibiotic medication. You will be given a pamphlet which will further discuss this.
  • After surgery, you can walk and do normal activities that you can tolerate. Many patients complain of swelling in the knee and ankle following surgery, and it may take 3 months for the swelling to completely diminish.
  • You may be wearing Ted hose following surgery. These are a support hose that are worn either below the knee or full length of the leg. We will discuss this with you again in further detail on the day of surgery.

Please call our office at 515-222-3151 if you have any questions. Please do not call the hospital. If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear from you.

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