Before knee replacement surgery, your doctor may order tests to make sure you are healthy enough for the operation. This may involve blood tests, X-rays, or an electrical graph of your heart's function called an EKG. Your doctor may ask you to donate blood before the operation in case you need routine transfusions for surgery. Once you receive clearance for your general health, you can move forward with surgery.
Your Knee Evaluation
The surgeon will ask you many questions about your knee symptoms, as well as your general health, to determine if knee surgery is safe and appropriate for you. Your knee evaluation will include:
- Medical history review
A careful examination and review of your medical history, x-rays and other tests will help the surgeon understand your pain and physical limitations as well as the progression of your knee problem.
- Physical exam
A physical exam will measure the range of motion of your hips and knees and evaluate your muscle strength. The surgeon will observe how you walk, sit, bend and move. X-rays will be taken of your knee joint.
- X-ray review
Bring any previous knee x-rays with you to help your surgeon plan the surgery and evaluate the fit of your new knee prosthesis.
You will likely be asked to see your family physician or an internal medicine doctor for a thorough medical evaluation. To prepare yourself for surgery you may need to:
- Lose weight (if you’re overweight)
- Quit smoking (if you smoke)
- Compile and bring a list of all medications and dosages
- Inform your surgeon if you are taking aspirin or certain arthritis medications
- You may need to stop taking these before surgery. If you are taking aspirin under the direction of a physician for vascular or cardiac reasons, your doctor may advise you to continue taking it as directed
- Discuss donating your own blood ahead of time for a possible transfusion during surgery