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How To Prepare For Knee Surgery

How To Prepare For Knee Surgery

The prospect of knee surgery, such as an arthroscopic procedure or an ACL reconstruction, can be daunting. Even though you know it can improve your movement and mobility, decrease pain, and restore your quality of life, it is still a surgical procedure. With the right preparation, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome and a smooth recovery. In this blog, we will share some tips to help you prepare for knee surgery, including physical and mental preparation, lifestyle changes, and post-surgery planning. By following these tips, you can reduce anxiety and feel confident about your ability to recover from your knee surgery and return to your normal activities.

Preparing For Knee Surgery

If you're scheduled for knee surgery, it's important to be well-prepared. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your procedure and improve your chances of a smooth recovery.

  1. Educate yourself about the procedure
    The first step in preparing for knee surgery is to understand what to expect. Talk to your doctor and do some research on your own to learn about the procedure, how long it will take, what type of anesthesia will be used, and what the recovery process will be like. This knowledge will help you mentally prepare for the surgery and reduce anxiety.
  2. Get in shape
    If you're not already in good physical condition, now is the time to start working on it. You'll recover more quickly and have a better outcome if you're in good health going into the surgery. Start by eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise, including both cardio and strength training.
  3. Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake
    Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your body's ability to heal. If you're a smoker, try to quit at least two weeks before the surgery. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, and avoid alcohol altogether in the days leading up to the surgery.
  4. Prepare your home
    After the surgery, you may need to use crutches or a walker, and you may have difficulty getting around. Make sure your home is prepared for your recovery by removing any trip hazards, such as throw rugs, and ensuring that you have a clear path from your bedroom to the bathroom and other areas of the house. Set up a recovery area with pillows, blankets, and entertainment options.
  5. Arrange for help
    You will likely need assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and getting dressed after your orthopedic knee surgery. Ask a family member or friend to help you during the first few days of your recovery, or consider hiring a professional caregiver if needed.
  6. Follow pre-surgery instructions
    Your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow in the days and hours leading up to the surgery. These may include fasting for a certain amount of time, stopping certain medications, and taking a special shower the night before the surgery. It's important to follow these instructions closely to reduce the risk of complications.
  7. Plan for post-surgery recovery
    Your knee surgery recovery may take several weeks or even months, depending on the type of knee surgery you have. Plan ahead by scheduling follow-up appointments with your doctor, arranging for transportation to and from these appointments, and stocking up on any necessary medical supplies, such as ice packs and compression stockings.
  8. Be patient
    Finally, be patient with yourself during the recovery process. It's normal to feel frustrated or discouraged at times, but remember that healing takes time. Follow your doctor's instructions, stay positive, and focus on the progress you're making.

Successful Recovery After Knee Surgery

Preparing for knee surgery requires a combination of physical and mental preparation. By educating yourself about the procedure, getting in shape, and making necessary arrangements for your recovery, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember to follow your doctor's instructions and be patient with yourself as you recover. With the right mindset and preparation, you can get through your knee surgery and return to an active, healthy lifestyle

Persistent knee pain can adversely affect your life, and force you to give up activities that you may love, such as playing sports or dancing. If you think your chronic knee pain may not be responding well to non-surgical options, book a consultation with a reliable, experienced surgeon. Your general health, lifestyle, and specific circumstances should be addressed before determining whether or not you should undergo knee replacement surgery. 

At Okanagan Health Surgical Centre, our board-certified surgeons can help you get back to healthy living! To find out whether you are a candidate for knee surgery, contact us at 250-868-9799 or fill in our online form.


Q: What are some treatment alternatives to knee surgery?
There are many options that you can try to repair your knee before choosing to have knee surgery. Whether, or not, you choose to have surgery these are all great recommendations to improve your probability of excellent surgical results:

  • Addition of a low-impact exercise routine
  • Losing weight to decrease pressure on the joint
  • Physiotherapy
  • Supplementation
  • Medication for pain relief and to decrease inflammation

Q: How long is an arthroscopic knee procedure?
A: The length of the procedure varies for each patient depending on the type of knee injury and how severe the injury is. Typically, the surgery is completed in an hour or less.

Q: What does recovery from knee surgery look like?
A: The recovery timeline for an arthroscopic knee surgery patient depends on which procedure is used, and individual factors such as a person’s age and overall health. Many people leave the hospital the same day or the next morning. However, it may take several days to several months before the patient feels that life is back to normal. During the healing process, you may need to use crutches, pain medication, and participate in physical therapy. For more information read Recovering From Knee Surgery: What To Expect.

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