10 Things to do BEFORE Total Knee Replacement

I recently had total knee replacement and since I am one of those annoyingly organized people, I was ready for surgery. Here is a list of some of the things you may want to think about.

  1. Eliminate tripping hazards. Make sure you pick up throw rugs or dog beds that may be in your path as you travel through your house. Make sure electrical cords are moved or covered with a non-slip cord cover.
  2. Buy YOUR comfort food. You will need some food that is easy for you or those assisting you to prepare. You will need to drink a lot so you may want some drink mixes to help you drink more.
  3. Clean your house. In addition to picking up so you don’t trip, you want to avoid infection at all costs, so having your house clean and disinfected before surgery will help you after surgery. Make sure you wash your bedding on the day before surgery. You will probably be instructed to shower and clean your leg a certain way the night before surgery, sleep in clean sheets, and then shower again on the morning of surgery. It will be nice to come home to a clean bed. (I have to make sure to pull up all the coverings when I get out of bed so my dog won’t be on my sheets if he sneaks into my spot.)
  4. You are going to need a walker for at least 2-3 weeks. It’s fine to borrow one but be aware that height matters. Be sure that the walker is adjustable to an appropriate height so that you don’t have to bend over or be reaching up. Part of your recovery is learning to walk correctly again (probably after months or years of limping) so you need to be able to stand upright comfortably. Honestly, the old fashioned walkers with two wheels and two legs are probably what you will want- especially the first week or if you are on narcotics and may be dizzy.
  5. You will need an ice machine. You put water and ice into the hopper and it pumps it out into a pad that is strapped to your leg. This is a great machine but you will need to find out if they will be sending you home with one. I was told that they would not send one home so I ordered one on Amazon. . . but did not open the box. It turned out that they DID send one home, so we will be shipping the ordered one back. You need to make sure that you have ice to fill the machine. One trick is to duct tape 3-4 water bottles together and freeze them so that you can use them in the machine. If you have two sets, one can always be ready for you.
  6. You are going to get several prescriptions. If they give you these ahead of time, you can fill them yourself, but if they don’t you will need someone to go to the pharmacy for you. Trust me. . . you don’t want to miss a dose. There are a few over-the-counter items that you may need. Most doctors will want you to take a low dose aspirin for a few weeks. You can just buy this. You will want some Colace, which is a stool softener, to help deal with the aftereffects of anesthesia and narcotics. You may also want to have a good old laxative on hand just in case. Easier to have it ready than to hunt down someone to buy it for you.
  7. Most doctors won’t want you to shower for at least two weeks because getting your wound wet is like a superhighway for germs to get into your body and cause all sorts of trouble. Two non-shower options are baby wipes (I like to give a little boost with some rubbing alcohol) or a non-rinse body wash pad like Scrubzz. I have done both and I am really impressed with the Scrubzz- not sticky residue and I haven’t been itchy at all.
  8. Make sure you have a couple pair of biggish athletic shorts that you can easily put on and off. These will be great after surgery, but they are necessary for physical therapy. At PT you will probably have massage and treatment with a TENS machine, so they need access to your skin.
  9. If you are a sock wearer around the house, make sure you have some sock with “grippies” on the bottom. You will probably receive a pair at the hospital or surgical center but it’s nice to have more than one pair. You really want to avoid a fall, so these are necessary.
  10. Organize some projects for yourself before surgery. Make sure you have everything you will need for the project so you aren’t sending someone on a wild goose chase looking for things you need. You may end up spending a few days lying pretty flat, so keep that in mind. You will also want to have a portable table or stand near where you plan to be to hold drinks, remotes, and projects.

If you are interested in learning about my experience with Total Knee Replacement, please go to:

This is an affiliate link to the Scrubzz sponges that I have really enjoyed using. If you use this link I will receive a small commission. https://amzn.to/3FaAPoF

What are your thoughts?