Knee Replacement Surgery- prepping for surgery
Making the decision for knee replacement surgery isn't easy. The idea of shutting down your normal routine for 8-12 weeks is overwhelming. For me making the decision for having surgery on both knees at once was not an issue. I couldn't imagine taking the time off and going through rehab two times in one year. Double knee replacement surgery was booked and although I didn't really know what I was getting into, I trusted my doctor and started on the journey.
Dr Ghapti, Northshore Hospital, recommended that I would be a good candidate for double knee replacement because I was under 60 and in good physical health. He also recommended for me to go home after the hospital for home health as opposed to a care facility. Many people who have both knees done or even just one replaced, will take a few days in the hospital and then be admitted to a full care facility for the next 7-10 days.
Before any major surgery at a hospital there are a few things you'll need to do. First you'll need to book an appointment with your primary doctor for surgery pre-op physical. *You should have had a referral from them in the first place to meet with the orthopedic doctor for most insurance policies. This pre-op physical has to take place within 30 days of surgery. For me, I just had surgery a week prior to knowing I was going to have my knee surgery and just had a pre-op physical- sadly it was going to be 32 days not 30 and I had to go in again and have another physical.
Keep in mind that if you are over 50, your pre-op physical will include an EKG heart scan.This was something that takes about 5-10 minutes, but if you're like me, I was a bit taken back thinking, "really I need a heart scan". Because I was healthy my blood pressure and heart rate were not within the average range-- it was below then numbers. Heart rate 57 and BP 99/64 is considered to most healthy. It still shows a flag on the report since it is not within range. This lower BP number still allowed me clear for surgery but after surgery, my BP numbers were even lower due to the pain medications, and a few times were as low as 72/44.
Also included in the pre-op physical is a blood test, urine test and nose swab to check for carrying or having a staph infection. The nose swab was something new for me. I never had one before and it came up clear. One more thing to remember, is that in almost all circumstances of knee replacement surgery, you will be on a blood thinner to prevent blood clots after surgery, so you will need to stop most pain relievers for one week prior to surgery.
My knee pain was managed by Aleve pain reliver, so when I stopped taking it for that week, it made it even ore apparent that I was ready for the surgery.