So you have come to the realisation that you may be heading towards a knee replacement in Adelaide. For some people this can be quite a daunting thought process, while for others, this has been a long time coming. All those years of sport and hard work may now be catching up with you. While knee replacement surgery should not be underestimated, it is a very commonly performed operation, and one that you can certainly help prepare yourself for.
Given that you are reading this, you have likely decided to start doing some of your own research into how to prepare for a knee replacement in Adelaide. This is a great start and will allow you to help take control of your decision making. There are several different types of knee replacement that your surgeon may recommend. While these are outside the scope of the article, these may include a partial knee replacement or a total knee replacement.
Once you have made the decision to proceed with a knee replacement, there are several preparation steps that may help!
Preparing for a knee replacement in Adelaide – Time off work
The first one is a logistical issue. If you are still currently working, you will need to take a period of time off work for your knee replacement. Depending on how physical your occupation is will depend on how much time you will need. While you may be able to return to work in as little as 3-4 weeks if you have an office based job, you will need to be able to safely get to and from your work. It is recommended that you take 6 weeks off from driving following a knee replacement, so again this will need to be planned out
Preparing for a knee replacement in Adelaide – Medical Adjustments
In the weeks leading up to your knee replacement, you may need to consider the cessation of some of your regular medications. For patients that regularly take blood thinning medications, it is likely that you will have these ceased during this period. There are many reasons that you may be taking blood thinners, and your surgeon and anaesthetist will have a discussion with you regarding when and how these medications will be ceased.
If you are a heavy smoker, then you will be strongly encouraged to cut down around the time of your procedure. This will aid with your anaesthetic and wound healing following your knee replacement.
Preparing for a knee replacement in Adelaide – Sorting out your home
Before your leave your beautiful Adelaide home to head into hospital, there are a few things around the house that you may want to do. Simple things like decluttering the house, doing a big food shop, and ensuring that all of your required utensils are within easy reach can make a big difference for when you return home.
Preparing for a knee replacement in Adelaide – Strengthening exercises
Building up your exercise tolerance and quadricep strength will certainly come in handy following your knee replacement. Even attending a preoperative physiotherapy schedule can have huge benefits for your overall fitness following the procedure. Please speak to your surgeon to see if they have a dedicated program for this
Preparing for a knee replacement – Getting home from the hospital
It is always a good idea to think ahead and plan a family member or friend that is going to be able to pick you up from hospital when your ready to return home. If you are fortunate to have someone at home with you for the first couple of weeks, then this will be of great help. If you live alone, then trying to arrange family or a friend to drop over from time to time will also provide you with some comfort and assistance in the first week or so following your knee replacement.
Dr. Mike Smith specialises in Knee Replacements in Adelaide, and his staff are happy to help coordinate many of these preparations to ensure that you have a smooth transition back home following your procedure.