Planning ahead for the challenges of surgery and recovery will help ensure a more successful outcome.
Joint replacement can help relieve pain and enable you to live a fuller, more active life. If you are deemed a good candidate for joint replacement and decide to have surgery, it is good to be prepared, both mentally and physically before surgery. Planning ahead for the challenges of surgery and recovery will help ensure a more successful outcome. See some frequently asked questions before surgery:
What if I smoke or drink alcohol? If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking affects blood circulation, delays healing and slows recovery. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet. If you drink, do not consume any alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery. If you use any other types of controlled substances, tell your doctor. Narcotics and other drugs can cause complications and impact your surgery.
To help expedite the check in process for your appointment, we would ask that you please print and complete the following forms (where applicable – fill out only for the surgical procedures that you are scheduling) and bring them with you to your appointment. Please call our office at (801) 355-6468 if you have any questions or concerns, we’re happy to help. Thank you!
Prior to knee replacement, you will complete a variety of tests such as x-rays, and ECG, and blood tests. These medical studies ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery and enable your providers to ensure the best care after surgery.
Most of our patients receive a spinal block, intravenous sedation, and long-acting local analgesic for knee replacement surgery. This combination ensures a safe and rapid recovery with a lower likelihood of nausea and vomiting, respiratory complications, prolonged sedation, and other issues often seen with general anesthesia.
We use implants with a design that has been shown to have good long-term survival. We do not use any implants that have been recalled. If you want specific brand names please discuss this with your surgeon before surgery.
Most patient stay in the hospital 2-3 days following knee replacement. The vast majority of patient will go home with home health that will perform any necessary blood work and physical therapy.
Most patients will obtain almost full recovery by 3 months after surgery. By 3 months, you can except to return to low-impact activities such as hiking, biking, golfing. We advise you avoid high-impact activities such as running after a knee replacement. If you have a sedentary job, you should be able to return to work within 3-6 weeks. More physical jobs often require more time off for recovery.
We use “multimodal” pain management, meaning that we use a combination of medications such as Tylenol, narcotics, and anti-inflammatories as well as ice to control your pain.
Formal physical therapy is not required before surgery, but it is advised to get in the best physical shape possible before surgery to lessen the chance for complication and shorten your recovery time.
You will stop all medications that thin your blood 7 days before surgery such as aspirin and ibuprofen. If you take chronic anti-coagulation such as Coumadin we will work with your other doctors to establish a plan for your medication before surgery.
The day after surgery, you will begin working with physical therapy to become comfortable using your new knee. They will begin basic movements and walking with either a walker or crutches. You will also be started on a “motion machine” called a CPM that helps to decrease swelling and maintain motion in your knee. Physical therapy is a critical component of your recovery, helping to restore joint strength and mobility.
Joint replacement is major surgery and your recovery will take several weeks, but there are steps you can take now to make your time at home safer and more comfortable:
If you do not already have a disabled parking permit, apply for a temporary permit several weeks before your surgery. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles, or your doctor’s office may have an application form.