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Questions to ask your doctor before knee replacement

How do I know if knee replacement surgery will help me?

  • Is there any harm in waiting?
  • Am I too young or too old for knee replacement?
  • What else can be done for knee arthritis besides surgery?
  • What is minimally invasive knee replacement surgery?

How much does knee replacement surgery cost?

  • How do I find out if my insurance will pay for knee replacement surgery?
  • Does insurance cover all of the costs or just some?
  • Does it make a difference which hospital I go to?

Is there anything that I can do before the surgery so it will be more successful for me?

  • Are there exercises I should do to make my muscles stronger?
  • Should I learn to use crutches or a walker before I have the surgery?
  • Do I need to lose weight before surgery?
  • Where can I get help quitting cigarettes or not drinking alcohol, if I need to?

How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?

  • How much help will I need when I come home? Will I be able to get out of bed?
  • How can I make my home safer for me?
  • How can I make my home so it is easier to get around and do things?
  • How can I make it easier for myself in the bathroom and shower?
  • What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
  • Do I need to rearrange my home?
  • What should I do if there are steps that go to my bedroom or bathroom?

What are the risks or complications of the surgery?

  • What can I do before surgery to make the risks lower?
  • For which of my medical problems (such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure) do I need to see my doctor?
  • Will I need a blood transfusion during or after the surgery? Are there ways of saving my own blood before the surgery so it can be used during the surgery?
  • What is the risk of infection from surgery?

What will the surgery be like?

  • How long will the surgery last?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? Are there choices to consider?
  • Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? What will be done to relieve the pain?

What will my stay in the hospital be like?

  • How soon will I be getting up and moving around?
  • Will I have physical therapy in the hospital?
  • What other types of treatment or therapy will I have at the hospital?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • When will I go home after surgery?

Will I be able to walk when I leave the hospital? Will I be able to go home after being in the hospital, or will I need to go to a rehabilitation facility to recover more?

Do I need to stop taking any medicines before my surgery?

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or other arthritis drugs?
  • Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements?
  • Other prescription drugs that my other doctors may have given me?

What should I do the night before my surgery?

  • When do I need to stop eating or drinking?
  • What medicines should I take the day of surgery?
  • When do I need to be at the hospital?
  • What should I bring with me to the hospital?
  • Do I need to use a special soap when I bathe or shower?


Mihalk WM. Arthroplasty of the knee. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds.Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics

Update Date 3/5/2015