Patient and Family Education
The following information serves as a guide on what to expect after your operation.
In some cases your orthopaedic surgeon may advice you differently and you should follow those instructions.
Total Knee Replacement
- After surgery, the affected leg is checked for colour, movement and sensation. Numbness, bruises, swelling and warmth can be expected for up to three months.
- Ice pad may be used to reduce swelling. Elastic stockings / foot pump may be used to promote circulation.
- Dressing will be checked for bleeding and to ensure it is firmly secured. Keep it dry at all times.
- Unless there is a waterproof dressing, the dressing should be kept dry and intact at all times. Cover the leg with a plastic bag when taking a shower.
- It is important to check the wound site for signs of bleeding daily especially when you are discharged from the hospital.
- One or two small suction tubes will be placed in the knee to remove any excess blood.
- Antibiotics may possibly be ordered after surgery depending on your clinical condition.
- Other medications are anti-inflammatory and pain-relievers.
- Minimal Pain is expected but if you are experiencing moderate to severe knee pain, please inform the doctor.
Nutrition / Hydration
Once drinks are tolerated, you may have solid food. A high protein diet is encouraged unless contraindicated. Plenty of fruits and vegetables are encouraged.
- The side rails of your bed will be up to prevent you from falling off your bed.
- Deep breathing exercises are encouraged to prevent a chest infection. Repeat 3-4 times every hour while awake.
- Exercise your ankle by moving your foot towards and away from you to increase blood circulation, reduce swelling and prevent blood clots.
- A continuous passive motion machine may be used to help you exercise your knee to prevent stiffness.
- A trapeze will be attached to your bed frame to assist you to move and transfer in and out of bed.
Follow up appointment
- A review appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon may be arranged for you before you are discharged from the hospital & details will be given to you. In the event you are unable to attend, please call the clinic to reschedule to a more convenient time.
- Once discharged from the hospital it is very important to contact the surgeon’s clinic if you experience signs of fever, uncontrolled pain or infection and inflammation of the wound site.