The weeks before your hip or knee replacement surgery are an excellent time to prepare your body, your mind and even your home for this procedure. Here are 5 important things you can do now to help ensure the best possible outcome from surgery:

1.  Learn about your procedure.

Read the educational materials your surgeon and these messages provide about your procedure, what will be done, what you will need to do before and after the procedure, and what to expect in recovery. Consider taking a pre-operative class at our hospital—and bring a family member with you so you both will know what to expect.

2.  Contact your insurance company.

Now is a good time to check with your insurance company to verify coverage of your joint surgery and care needed during your recovery. Do it now to avoid unforseen payment problems later on.

3.  Visit your dentist.  

It’s a good idea to have a dental exam and take care of any dental work you need before your surgery. One of the ongoing risks after hip or knee replacement surgery is infection. The risk is low—less than 1% of these joint surgery patients develop an infection—but it will be a concern for as long as you have your replacement joint. Dental work makes you vulnerable to infection, and you will need preventive antibiotics for some dental work after your surgery. 

4.   Lose weight if necessary.  

If you are overweight, it’s more important than ever to try to bring down your weight if you can. Extra weight puts stress on your joint; it’s best to avoid putting that same stress on your new joint. Being overweight also increases your chance for blood clots and infection after surgery. Check with your primary care provider on the healthiest way to drop some pounds while awaiting surgery.

5.  Prepare your home.

Certain equipment and preparation at home will be helpful to you and ensure your safety during the days and weeks after surgery. CLICK HERE for some helpful guidance on this.