6 Steps to a Successful Knee Replacement

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Sarah Lewis, PharmD on August 31, 2020
  • holding knee
    Preparation Is Key to Success
    Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, can restore pain-free range of motion and function in your knee. Even if you are a good candidate for knee replacement, the thought of undergoing the actual procedure might be overwhelming. Here are some things you can do to help make your knee replacement surgery a success.

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  • Three doctors on white background, portrait
    1. Pick the Right Doctor
    Choosing a doctor with the right expertise and experience is one of the most important things you can do for a successful knee replacement. The more experience the doctor has performing knee replacements, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. Read Finding the Right Doctor for Knee Replacement to learn how.

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  • Nurse helps senior patient
    2. Make Sure Your Hospital Has a Good Success Record
    Where you have your surgery is just as important as who performs your surgery. Your risk of complications and even death can be higher at one hospital compared to another in the same city. Healthgrades.com presents this information in an easy-to-understand ratings format.

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  • African man talking to doctor
    3. Get Specific With Your Doctor
    Bring a list of questions to your doctor appointment. Ask about the types of surgery available, possible complications, recovery time, and how to manage pain after the procedure. Having realistic expectations will help you and your loved ones stick with your treatment plan.

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    4. Prepare for the Procedure
    Here are things you’ll need to do before surgery. 1) Provide your detailed medical history and a list of your medications. 2) Get all preoperative testing that your doctor orders. 3) Take or stop medications exactly as directed.

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  • physical-therapist-stretching-patients-leg
    5. Plan for Your Recovery
    Knee replacement recovery time varies depending on the specific surgical approach, type of anesthesia, your general health, your age, and other factors. Physical therapy and medicine to control pain after knee replacement is an essential part of recovery. Gradually, you’ll regain knee function with less pain. Full recovery times range from 3 to 12 months.

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  • elderly-woman-with-walker-walking-with-caregiver
    6. Make Appropriate Arrangements
    You won’t be able to drive immediately after knee replacement, so arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. You may need to use a walker for several weeks. Ask your doctor: what kind of restrictions you’ll have; what kind of assistance you will need at home; and when you can return to work and other activities. Arrange for child or pet care, driving assistance, and time off work as needed, well in advance of the scheduled surgery date.

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6 Steps to a Successful Knee Replacement Surgery & Recovery
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Last Review Date: 2020 Aug 31
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.