||T O T A L K N E E S U R G E R Y A N D P O S T- O P
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Surgery and Post-Op
Length of Hospitalization: Average stay is three to five days.
Anesthesia: A spinal or epidural may be recommended; however, most patients prefer general anesthesia. IV sedation is used with the epidural to help you relax and sleep.
Blood Transfusions: Transfusions generally are not required for a single knee replacement, but patients may donate one to two units of their own blood if both knees are to be replaced at the same time. This will be arranged for you pre-operatively in coordination with your family doctor.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy begins the day of surgery. A therapist will come to your room and help you with exercises and walking. Sometimes after surgery, your leg will be placed in a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine for approximately six hours per day to help you regain range of motion. Arrangements will be made for you to have the CPM machine and physical therapy at home for two to three weeks following discharge. Following home physical therapy you may go to an outpatient physical therapy facility two to three times a week for four to six weeks.
IMPORTANT: Prior to surgery, VERIFY INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR YOUR CPM AND PHYSICAL THERAPY. THESE ITEMS ARE NOT ALWAYS COVERED BY ALL COMPANIES. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONFIRM THE NUMBER OF PHYSICAL THERAPY VISITS APPROVED BY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY FOLLOWING TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT. INFORM YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPY PROVIDER ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN APPROVED BEFORE YOU BEGIN THERAPY.
Crutches/Walker: Initially you will walk with a walker, which will be provided while you are in the hospital. As you progress, your physical therapist may switch you to crutches or a cane.
Wound Care: The surgical dressing is usually removed after two days. You may keep the incision open to air as long as there is no bleeding or drainage. We will have your sutures removed by a home health nurse or in the office approximately two weeks after your surgery.
Driving: Most patients are able to safely drive a car approximately two to six weeks after surgery
Flying: Most patients are able to resume air travel approximately two to six weeks after surgery.
Home Care: You will need help with meal preparation for one to two weeks following discharge from the hospital. We recommend that you have someone stay with you after you leave the hospital for at least a week (and longer if possible). If this is not possible, please let the nurse know you will need assistance after surgery.
Things to Report: Call the office at (480) 941-5656 if you develop any of the following:
• Redness around the incision
• Drainage or bleeding from the incision
• Fever over 101 degrees
• Increased swelling
• Calf pain
• Calf swelling
• Shortness of breath or chest pain
Return to Work: Following total knee replacement, you will be able to return to sedentary work four to six weeks after surgery. We recommend restricting certain work activities:
• No heavy lifting
• Limited bending, stooping, and squatting
• Limit prolonged standing and climbing
PLEASE NOTE: After knee replacement, it will be necessary for you to take antibiotics before you undergo any standard dental work or teeth cleaning. Please contact our office at (480) 941-5656to arrange for a prescription. If you are on any blood thinners (Coumadin, aspirin, Plavix, etc.) or if you are diabetic, please notify Dr. Longo.