Knee-joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the knee joint with a man-made or artificial joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.
Below are questions you may want to ask your doctor about the surgery.
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?
- Which type of replacement would benefit me?
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? What about donating 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?
- Do I need to go somewhere else for rehabilitation before going home?
Will I be able to walk when I leave the hospital? Will I be able to go home after being in the hospital?
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?
What to ask your doctor about knee replacement - before; Before knee replacement - doctor questions; Before knee arthroplasty - what to ask your doctor
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Total knee replacement. orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/total-knee-replacement. Updated June 2020. Accessed July 16, 2021.
Mihalko WM. Arthroplasty of the knee. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 7.
Review Date 6/13/2021
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.