Tips on Mentally and Physically Preparing for Your Knee Replacement Surgery

Jun 30, 2020 | Articles

Knee replacement surgery (sometimes referred to as knee arthroplasty or a total knee replacement procedure) is a type of surgery which uses metal or plastic to resurface the knee of someone who struggles with severe arthritis or an injury that has damaged the joint. The aim is to replace weight-bearing surfaces on the joint and ease pain or lack of mobility. If you are scheduled for knee surgery, it is important to take the right steps in preparing yourself for the pre- and post-operation experience.

Your Mental and Emotional Readiness is Important

Nobody wants to endure something like surgery, and feeling a little trepidation is absolutely normal. It is vital to note, however, that this common procedure’s success rate is exceptionally high, and 9 out of 10 individuals experience close to immediate pain relief. Not only is your quality of life likely to improve significantly, but you will enjoy the benefits of the surgery for years to come. Part of your mental preparation also means educating yourself on the procedure and how it will be performed. Speak to your specialist about what precisely the process entails and how you will feel in the days, weeks, and months after the operation. Ask questions about any terms you do not fully understand to set your mind at ease.

Keep Your Details with You

During your pre-operation consultations, you might be asked more than once about the current medications you are taking, your medical history, health status, insurance details, and family physician’s contact. This might be too much to keep track of, so be sure to write it all down and carry it with you each time you go. If anything changes in your health status (no matter how seemingly insignificant) in the period before your surgery, make sure to mention this to your specialist.

Prepare Your Home and Plan for a Caregiver

While recovering, certain tasks are going to be more challenging or altogether impossible. Ask a family member, friend, or caregiver to assist you where possible with meals, shopping, and simple chores such as walking the dogs and taking out the trash. You could also try to prepare and freeze a few dishes in advance for days you might be alone and require a microwave-ready meal.

Depending upon the layout of your home, you could try setting up a makeshift bedroom near the bathroom facilities and kitchen and move furniture out of the way that makes accessing these areas with a crutch or walker a little easier. After the procedure, you will also be given a few physical therapy exercises to practice, and creating a safe, hazard-free space in your home to do so is wise.

Focus on Your Health

Recovery after knee surgery, as with any other surgery, is much faster if you are in better health. In the weeks leading up to your operation, try to move about where possible and increase your fitness level. Strengthening your arms will also help for when you are resigned to crutches. Upping your intake of healthy foods, fresh air, and exercise are not simply great for your body but will put you in a better headspace too. It is also recommended that smokers try to cut down or stop smoking altogether as the habit slows recovery and can lead to post-operative complications.

Then, following your doctor’s orders when it comes to rest, medication, diet, and exercise are of the utmost importance. Partnering with the right specialist is also a priority. Here at Pretoria Hip, Knee & Shoulder Surgeons, you can trust our decades of experience to see you through the process. To find out more about how we can help you, feel free to contact us at