Getting Ready for Knee (joint replacement) Surgery - at home

What happens before surgery? 

Preparing your home  

  • Remove all throw rugs and pick up all electrical cords and trip hazards from the areas of passage. Ensure there is a clear path thorough out your home, which includes the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and living area.

  • Make sure handrails in the shower, bath, and stairwells are securely fastened.

  • A stable chair with two arms to sit in after surgery will help with ambulation.

  • A walker and a shower chair are necessary.  We can arrange to have these items delivered to your home or to the hospital before you are discharged.

Additional preparation 

No smoking for at least a week before surgery. 


Joint Moves Pre-Operative Education sessions

Second Thursday of the month 2:00 p.m. or the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.

These sessions are designed to prepare you for your upcoming joint replacement; providing you with educational materials and answering any questions that you may have.



Pre-Admission Testing

Blood work, a urinalysis, an EKG and a chest x-ray will need to be completed. These tests will be done in your physician’s office or at the hospital in the pre-admission testing area. Please bring a complete list of all your medications (or the bottles) to the pre-admission visit.

Your nose will be swabbed and sent to the lab for evaluation.  On Page _10_ within the booklet, information specific to your nose being swabbed and the next steps taken if the results are positive.

A consultation with a member of the Anesthesia Department will occur during this visit.

Medications like Coumadin, Plavix, or Aspirin may be stopped for 5 to 7 days before surgery (or as directed by your physician).

Experiencing any problems with your teeth, an evaluation with a dentist before surgery may be needed. Infections can enter the blood stream through the gums. By treating dental problems before knee surgery will decrease the risk of developing an infection in the knee.

3-Day Shower with Hibiclens (CHG) before surgery
Click here for specific instructions.  Please follow step by step.


Night before Surgery

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.


Morning of Surgery

Upon arrival to the hospital, please check in at the Admission Desk. A Pre-Operative Registered Nurse (RN) will greet you and your family.  A hospital gown and a warm blanket will be provided.  The RN will start an IV. Sequential leggings will be placed on your unaffected leg to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.  The RN will wash your affected leg and place sterile towels around it.

Antibiotics will be started through your IV. The surgeon will mark the surgery site. At that time, any unanswered questions can be answered.

An Operating Room Registered Nurse will transport you to an operating suite. The RN will ask questions about your surgery procedure. An Anesthesia provider will be waiting in the suite.  The Anesthesia provider will monitor your vital signs through out your procedure.