Knee replacement surgery can be one of the best decisions of your life, since it will allow you to regain your mobility while eliminating knee pain. You will need to prepare before the surgery, though, since it will temporarily turn things upside down. This is because your recovery will include both rest to ensure you heal and physical therapy to ensure you maintain or regain a full range of motion. The following tips will help you prepare for your knee surgery.

Tip #1: Recruit an helper

Most knee surgeries are still inpatient, which means it will be a couple of days before you are able to go home. Once home, you may be prescribed up to one week of bed rest, with the length depending on your age and general health. You won't be able to bathe, prepare meals, drive, or complete other basic tasks without some help. For this reason you need to make sure there is someone at home that is both willing and able to help you during the first few days following the surgery.

Tip #2: Stop smoking

Although not a requirement before knee surgery, it is a good idea to stop smoking or using tobacco products. Ignoring all other health concerns, the main reason to quit before a knee replacement surgery is to ensure you heal properly. Nicotine can impact your body's ability to heal properly, which can cause complications after the surgery.

Tip #3: Adjust your medications

If you are on certain medications, you will need to stop them or lower the dosage before surgery. An example is blood thinners. Although these normally keep you healthy, they can increase your chances of bleeding out during surgery. You will need to consult with both your personal doctor and the surgeon to determine the best way to handle dosing of any medications that may interfere with the surgery or recovery.

Tip #4: Learn your exercises

You will need to learn two sets of exercises immediately following surgery. The first are a series of breathing exercises that are designed to keep fluid from settling in the lungs during bed rest. The second are the initial physical therapy exercises you will do to help your knee recover. Learning them both before the procedure is helpful. If you are able to do the knee exercises pre-surgery, do so, since this will help develop the muscles and strengthen the ligaments you will need to heal.

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