FAQS Knee Surgery

What happens after I schedule surgery?

Dr. Hickman's medical assistant will schedule your surgery with the facility you and Dr.Hickman have selected. She will then authorize this procedure with your health insurance company. Please understand that authorization is not a guarantee of payment and it is always a good idea that your check with your insurance company also regarding deductibles, copays, and coinsurance responsibilities. You also should have selected a preoperative appointment in our office. This usually takes place 1-2 weeks prior to your surgery date.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. You should also wash your surgical site with an antibiotic soap (which will be given to you at your preoperative appointment). You do not need to shave over your surgical site: this will be taken care of in the operating room.

 What time will my surgery be?

Your surgery time will be set by the hospital or surgical center. They will contact you the last working day before the surgery. They usually call after 1pm. Questions or concerns regarding the time of your surgery should be addressed to the hospital.

Should I stop my medications prior to surgery?

If you are a diabetic DO NOT take your diabetic medications after midnight on the day of surgery. If you are taking Asprin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or any other anti-inflammatories you will need to stop these ten days prior to the surgery. If you are on Plavix management, you will need to stop this two weeks before the surgery to prevent significant bleeding issues.

How do I care for my wound?

Your incision has been closed with dissolving sutures. There will be no need to remove any stitches. You can get your incision wet, but still no soaking (no bathtub, swimming, or hot tubs) for 4 weeks following surgery.

Do I need a motion machine after Knee Replacement surgery?

Studies show a motion machine does not improve motion or function after surgery. We currently do not recommend using one at home.

How will my wound look after surgery?

Redness and increased warmth around your incision can be normal. You may continue to note increased warmth for up to one year. If you experience significant drainage from your wound (drainage that soaks through a gauze pad in 5-6 hours), redness extending away from your incision or flue like symptoms, please notify our office immediately.

How long do I need to wear my TED hose (compression stockings)?

You need to wear your compression stockings until your postoperative appointment which is usually at 3 weeks after surgery.

What about dental work after joint replacement?

Antibiotics before dental work are not necessary unless a tooth is being extracted for an infection or major periodontal procedures such as gum or bone surgery. They are not necessary for cleanings, cavity fillings, tooth crowns, or other routine exams.

How long will I need to take pain medication after surgery?

You should anticipate discontinuing your pain medication between 2-5 weeks after surgery.

Will I need home health after surgery?

Depending on your personal circumstances you will either be released to a rehab center or to home with home healthcare. In either circumstance, it is anticipated that you would complete rehab or home healthcare at 7-14 days. You should make every effort to work hard so you can get to outpatient therapy in no more than 14 days.

Will I need physical therapy after surgery?

You will be in outpatient therapy after Knee Replacement surgery no more than 14 days after surgery.

How much will I follow up with Dr. Hickman?

Your first postoperative appointment will be 3 weeks after your surgery, then a follow up at 3 months after surgery, and again at 1 year after surgery. Then you will need annual appointments each year. Should you have questions or concerns outside of those timeframes, please contact our office and speak with the medical assistant who will coordinate with Dr. Hickman.