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Total knee replacement

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Knee replac​ement surgery is the most common treatment for advanced arthritis of the knee, with more than 600,000 procedures performed in the United States each year. 

A Marshfield Clinic Orthopedic doctor recommends a knee replacement if a person experiences stiffness or pain in his or her knee joint that can’t be relieved by medication. What’s more, a candidate for surgery finds walking even short distances difficult.

During a knee replacement, a surgeon will remove just enough of the damaged cartilage and bone to replace the weight bearing surfaces with a new metal and plastic joint surface to restore the alignment and function of the knee.

Before Surgery

Total joint replacement – bring your total joint replacement binder with you on the day of surgery.

Enlist a coach - your coach will provide emotional and physical support along with transportation on the day of discharge and for your follow-up appointments.

Pre-surgery exercises - start your pre-operative exercises. They are very important to do and can aid in a quicker recovery after surgery.

Dental needs - visit your dentist six months or less before surgery.

Report the following - report any infections or open cuts 24 – 48 hours before surgery day.

Medical leave papers - bring your medical leave papers to Orthopedics at least one month before your surgery date so they can be completed before your surgery.

Medications - stop the following medications 3 – 10 days before surgery unless told otherwise during your pre-operative physical exam:

  • Aspirin
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Coumadin
  • Plavix

Skin prep before surgery - shower or take bath with the CHG soap that was provided. Use this soap the evening before surgery and the day of surgery.

Prescription medication instructions - if you are instructed to take Coumadin, the evening before surgery, do so following your surgeon's instructions.

Eating and drinking restrictions:

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
  • The morning of surgery take your medications with only sips of water.

After Surgery

How to recognize and prevent complications.

Infection signs:

  • Increased swelling and bright redness in the surgical area
  • Change in color, amount, or odor of drainage
  • Increased pain in surgical area
  • Fever greater than 102°F - take your temperature

Symptoms of a blood clot

Blood clots can be in your leg or arm:

  • Swelling in thigh, calf, ankle, arm, hand or shoulder that does not go down with elevation.
  • Pain, heat, and tenderness in calf, back of knee, or groin area.

How to prevent a blood clot:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Exercise hands or arms
  • Take prescribed blood thinners

Pulmonary embolus (blood clot in lungs)

A blood clot in your lung is an emergency. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if a blood clot is suspected.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus:

  • Sudden chest pain or chest discomfort
  • Difficult and/or rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Confusion

Prevent a pulmonary embolus (blood clot):​

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Take prescribed blood thinners
Request Appointment

Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

 time for a new joint When to consider knee or hip replacement

Arthritis commonly causes joints to become painful and stiff because cartilage – the tissue that protects bones in a joint – breaks down and wears away. Treatment usually starts by trying more conservative approaches such as medication, physical therapy and changes to physical activity before considering joint replacement surgery... Read more


 Comfort & Recovery Suites

Your procedure may qualify for a stay in a Comfort and Recovery Suite. Ask your doctor for more details.

Comfort & Recovery Suite Locations

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