Frequently Asked Questions about Knee Replacement
How often should I see my surgeon after surgery?
Your surgeon or their assistant will closely follow your care throughout your entire hospital stay. In addition, your surgeon will want to see you for follow-up appointments after you have been dismissed. Your follow-up appointment will be about two weeks after your surgery.
How will I know if my incision is infected?
After your surgery, you may notice some redness and swelling around your incision. This is normal and expected. If you experience painful redness, increased swelling, or thick and bad smelling drainage coming from your incision, you might have an infection. A temperature over 101 degrees also may indicate an infection.
How soon can I bathe at home?
Your surgeon will inform you when you are able to safely shower. This is typically when your wound is clean, dry and doesn’t t have drainage. When you return home, you may need helpful equipment like a bath mat or shower seat to help you shower safely.
How soon will I able to drive?
Until your surgeon has approved, you should not drive your car. In order to gain clearance, you must be off pain medications. Expect to resume driving in about 4 weeks after your surgery. Consult with your surgeon or therapist for their advice on your activity.
Why are antibiotics required for other surgical procedures?
To make sure that your new artificial joint does not become infected, take antibiotics before any surgeries or dental work. No matter where the infection starts, if it spreads to your new knee, the results could be very serious. When artificial joints become infected, they must be removed surgically and then replaced several weeks later.
Please let your dentist and other medical providers know that you have had joint replacement surgery. This is important no matter the size of the procedure.
What is the best way to sleep at night to keep my knee comfortable and safe?
To keep your knee comfortable and safe, place a pillow between your legs while you sleep at night. You may want to sleep on your back or on either side, depending on what makes you most comfortable.
When can I return to work?
Most often, at least four to six weeks are needed off from work. It depends upon the type of work you do.
When can I play sports again?
You are encouraged to participate in low-impact activities after your full rehabilitation. These activities include walking, dancing, golfing, hiking, swimming, bowling, and gardening. High-impact activities like running, tennis and basketball are not recommended.