Preparing for Surgery

Once you decide to go ahead with a total knee replacement, it is important to start planning for your surgery, hospital stay, and discharge home. Preparation is just as important as the recovery process because this will ensure the best outcome for you.
Preparing for your knee surgery.

Here is a list of some of the things that you will need to prepare ahead of time:
  • Please read the patient guide book before your pre-operative assessment appointment. If you are interested in going to a respite care facility (see page 11 of your patient guide book) please make these arrangements before your surgery. These facilities also require a chest X-ray and forms that must be completed by your family physician.
  • It is important you participate in physiotherapy while you are in hospital and after you leave the hospital. Physiotherapy is vital to your recovery. Physiotherapy will help you improve your range of motion and strength. It will also teach you safe and effective movement patterns to assist in regaining your function. The health care team and the patient navigator will partner with you to arrange physiotherapy plans before your surgery date.
  • The patient navigator will contact you after your pre-operative appointment to arrange outpatient physiotherapy, provide information about transportation for outpatient physiotherapy and information about the necessary equipment.
  • Plan for someone to drive you to and from the hospital
  • Arrange to obtain equipment from a medical supply store
  • Set up your equipment at home and practice using the equipment
  • Move your furniture so that you have a clear path for walking, especially if you might be using crutches, a walker, or cane
  • Set up a high chair with a firm cushion and arm rests to sit on after surgery
  • Put frequently used items at your waist to shoulder height to minimize bending down
  • Remove loose rugs and other items that you could trip on
  • Make sure there is good lighting so you can see the floor clearly
  • Make sure staircase handrails are securely fastened to the wall
  • Arrange for a support person or Coach to stay with you or be available for the first 3 days after you go home
  • If you think you will need help with activities of daily living after surgery (e.g. bathing, toileting, getting dressed, etc.), contact private home care agencies. Look under “Home Support” in your local phone book or the Community Resources on this website
  • Arrange for grocery delivery and stock up on healthy frozen meals
  • Arrange for someone to care for your pets
Approximately a month or less before your surgery date, you will have an appointment at the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic, located at North York General.

Here you will be seen by a nurse to review important forms, have your blood tested, and have an electrocardiogram (ECG) done. You will also be seen by an anaesthesiologist and possibly a medical doctor. You will attend an educational class that is facilitated by a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a nurse, and a home care representative.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Contact the Hip and Knee Patient Navigator at 416-756-6000 ext. 4490 or email Hipknee.Navigator@nygh.on.ca.
Learn more about the Hip and Knee Patient Navigator.