Knee Replacement Surgery
Riverside joint replacement classesKnee replacement is major surgery. Our Joint Replacement Class fully prepares you for the surgery and afterwards. To help alleviate surgery jitters, our staff walks you through what you can expect from surgery and rehabilitation. We’ll show you exercises that will strengthen your muscles, which will speed your recovery. You’ll learn what equipment you’ll need post-surgery and how to get your house set up for your recovery period. We’ll also cover the rehabilitation programs at the Riverside Rehab Centers as well as what you should expect in terms of pain management, time on crutches or a walker, length of physical therapy, type of home assistance required, and time until you can resume full activitiesRiverside home health care visitBecause the recovery period you spend in your home is so essential to your healing, Riverside offers a unique, free home health care visit. With this service, a nurse will come to your house, at no charge to you, and review with you and your family how to make it comfortable and rehab-friendly. You won’t be a victim of “if only I had thought of that” while you heal. For instance, our expert may point out something as simple as rugs that need to be moved to prevent tripping or slipping. Or, you may be advised on what type of bed or other medical equipment to acquire for the recovery period. To schedule your free home visit, call (757) 594-5600.Riverside tipsWe have few tips of things you will want to take care of before your surgery to reduce worries and to make life more convenient while you are healing.Make sure your medical insurance coverage in orderInsurance coverage is one area you don’t want to worry about. Well before the surgery, contact your insurer to make sure you understand the following:
- Need for a second opinion on your knee replacement surgery.
- Hospital and health care providers’ status as “in-network” or “preferred.”
- Deductibles for hospital services.
- Limits on length of stay.
- Coverage for hospital rehabilitation services.
- After-care services for your hip or knee replacement surgery, such as physical or occupational therapy. (Ask whether the therapists must be from an approved list and how many visits or sessions are covered.)
- Equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches, and whether they must be obtained from approved vendors.
- Home health care coverage, what type, and for how long.
Get your home ready for recoveryAfter your surgery, your mobility and flexibility will be severely limited while you are recovering. Planning ahead can save aggravation and keep you safe.
- Rearrange furniture to create wide walkways to accommodate a walker or crutches.
- Remove rugs that may cause trips or slips.
- Go through the house and place frequently used items within arm’s reach.
- Make sure you have a sturdy chair with arms in the room where you will spend most of your time. Place a table, wastebasket, phone and TV remote control nearby.
- A lightweight bag, like a cloth grocery bag, that you can put over your shoulder is convenient for carrying the phone or a book with you while you are on crutches or using the walker. Some people use a carpenter’s belt.
- Set up a bedroom downstairs. You don’t want to attempt the stairs during this period.
- Buy or prepare and freeze meals in advance.
- Take care of important paperwork and get caught up on bills
- Buy a long-handled grabbing device. You won’t be able to reach down or over to pick up things.
- Consider buying an elevated toilet seat and a shower bench.
- Consider installing handrails and grab bars in the bathroom and shower.
- Ask neighbors, friends and family for help in advance.
Contact your Orthopaedic Surgeon’s office to sign up for the free visit from the home health care nurse.
Donate your blood. Because you may require a blood transfusion during or after your surgery, you may be asked to donate your own blood.
- Pre-operative testing. You’ll need to go for Preoperative Assessment testing before your operation or on the day of your surgery. Call Riverside scheduling at (757) 989-8830.
- Exercising. You’re getting a new knee, so it may sound counterintuitive to exercise and strengthen the one you’ve got now. However, it's essential that the muscles surrounding your new knee are strong enough to support you as you move, walk and to get in and out of bed after surgery. You’ll also need strong arms to help you sit down and pull yourself up. Riverside physical therapists will recommend specific exercises for you.
- Nutrition. Your body needs to be in the best condition possible before the stresses of surgery. This means you should try to lose weight if you are overweight. Everyone should eat a healthy, well balanced diet and increase your intake of calcium, iron and vitamin C. Calcium is important for building and maintaining bone strength. Iron builds red blood cells, which help healing. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron into the body.
- The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1000 to 1200 milligrams a day.
- The RDA for iron is 8-18 milligrams a day
The RDA for vitamin C is 75-90 milligrams a day
If you smoke, cut down or quit as soon as possible. Smoking changes blood flow patterns, delays healing and slows recovery. It's very important that you do not smoke after midnight before your surgery or the first 24 hours after. Please be advised that Riverside Regional Medical Center is a non-smoking hospital.
- If you drink, do not consume any alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery.
- If you use any type of controlled substances, tell your doctor. Narcotics and other drugs can have an impact on your surgery.
- Take a shower or bath the night before your surgery to help reduce the risk of infection.
- Do not shave the area of your surgery.
Do not wear any make-up, lipstick or nail polish.
Low heeled walking shoes with non-skid soles or tennis shoes. No open heel shoes or clogs.
- Pajamas and a short bathrobe.
- Loose fitting, comfortable clothing wear when you get up and move after surgery.
- Toilet articles and any other needed personal items.
- If you use an inhaler, please bring it.
- Bring any orders given to you by your doctor and give them to the person who admits you.
- Insurance card, driver’s license or other government issued-issued ID.
- A list of your home medication including nonprescription or herbal items along with a list of :
- For what condition do you take them
- How often you take them (unless on the medication packaging)
- Do not bring your crutches or walker unless asked.
- Leave all your valuables at home--money, jewelry and credit cards.
- At the hospital, you’ll take care of some hospital admission paperwork. Don’t forget to bring your insurance card and a driver’s license or other government-issued ID.
- In the pre-surgery unit, a nurse will speak with you and verify your health history and allergies.
- You’ll put on a gown and lay on a stretcher. From here on out, you’ll be wheeled to the various areas for your knee surgery and recovery.
- Intravenous fluids will be started to provide you with medication and fluid during surgery and for a day or two after your operation.
You may receive medication to help you relax and dry out your mouth.
The next step is cutting away the damaged cartilage and bone at the ends of the femur and tibia. The surgeon reshapes the end of the femur to receive the femoral component, or shell, which is usually made of metal and attached with bone cement.
After the femoral part of the prosthesis has been attached, the surgeon inserts a metal component into the upper end of the tibia. Sometimes, this part is pressed rather than cemented in place. If it is a cement-less prosthesis, the metal will be coated or textured so that new bone will grow around the prosthesis and hold it in place. A plastic plate called a spacer is then attached to the metal component in the tibia. The plastic allows the femur and tibia to move smoothly against each other.
- You may be surprised how quickly after your surgery the nurses have you up and moving around.
- It’s important after surgery to cough and breathe deeply to help your lungs remain clear.
You’ll also need to change positions with the help of a nurse about every 2-4 hours to help keep your skin and blood flow healthy.
Usually, you’ll be discharged once you meet rehabilitative milestones such as getting in and out of bed unassisted and walking a short distance.