Surgery is a major event with significant risk. In order to have the best chance at a successful outcome, we want to ensure that you, the patient, are properly prepared. This involves optimizing your medical conditions to prepare you physically, as well as preparing you mentally for the challenges that will come in the days and weeks following surgery.
More Than 6 Weeks Before Surgery
Check out the recommended Knee Conditioning Program
Check out the recommended Hip Conditioning Program
View the Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery: At-Home Exercises video
4-6 Weeks Before Surgery
Schedule Labs, EKG
Certain screening labs are required before surgery. These requirements are based on the best available evidence. We strongly recommend that you have your labs done at a Baycare Lab facility if they participate with your insurance.
Schedule Medical Clearance
We require that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for a check-up of your general health and fitness to undergo major surgery. He or she may also order additional testing to measure your fitness for surgery. If you have other medical conditions treated by a specialist, we may also require you to seek a clearance from that specialist as well.
If you are currently a smoker, it is important that you discuss quitting with your doctor. Smoking increases your risk of complications from surgery, particularly as it relates to wound healing. Quitting for 4 weeks prior to surgery has been shown to significantly reduce the rate of serious complications.
2-4 Weeks Before Surgery
You will need to interview with the pre-anesthesia nurse regarding your medical history and to receive specific instructions regarding which medications to stop or continue prior to surgery. Additionally, the nurse may obtain a nasal swab to screen for Staph aureus bacteria.
CT scan imaging for Mako (Total Knees Only)
If you are having a Robotic Assisted total knee replacement, we need to obtain a CT scan of your knee as part of the planning process. This is a specialized protocol which can be done at any of the Baycare Outpatient Imaging Centers.
Preoperative History and Physical with Dr. Whiddon’s PA
This should be the final step before surgery but we still like to do it at least 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery date so we can address any issues and avoid rescheduling your surgery.
- We will review your medical clearance, specialist recommendations, laboratory work, and xrays. We will discuss the surgery in as much detail as you prefer.
- We will electronically send the prescriptions for all your post-surgery medications (pain, nausea, anti-inflammatory, blood thinner, etc) to your pharmacy.
- We will review your medication list again and discuss which medications to stop or continue.
This is the time to get answers to any questions or voice any concerns that you may have. Please bring a list of your questions and a pen to write down the answers. This can be a very good resource to refer to after surgery.