What do you wish you had known before you had knee replacement surgery

CaroleK Member Posts: 1
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hello, I am new to the community but I am hoping to get some advice about what I should be doing to prepare for total knee replacement surgery. At the moment I have a date for early October and I am focussing on trying to keep myself as fit as I can given my limitations (so doing lots of swimming and working with a physio and PT on the right sort of strengthening exercises to do). I would be really interested to know from those that have had the surery if there is anything they would have done anything differently beforehand or anything you did do which you think helped with your post-surgery recovery. Thank you!


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 950

    Hello @CaroleK and welcome to the Community. You are now among supportive friends you don't know yet but will soon share their support and experiences with you.

    I understand that you are preparing for knee replacement surgery. It is good that you are trying to keep fit and active and working with a PT to do the right things. Have a look at the following links from our website - hopefully they will contain some information of use to you.


    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure that others will connect with you to share their support and experiences as well.

    With very best wishes,


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on0800 5200 520Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Jules70
    Jules70 Member Posts: 65

    Hi @CaroleK

    ive had both knees replaced 2 years ago due to OA.

    id say to prepare for surgery to do strengthening exercises to build up your muscles as much as possible but you sound like your doing that already

    Before surgery stock up on painkillers ibruprofen .

    try batch cook meals put in freezer which you can easily heat up.

    You can buy ice packs off Amazon just need to wrap up in towel don’t apply to skin without cloth .you’ll be on crutches for few weeks after op physios will show you how to mobilise do stairs get in out bed .I was in hospital 2 nights after my op.

    it’s tough at beginning really need to keep on top of pain .you’ll be given regular meds in hospital when your discharged your gp will prescribe more once home make sure you don’t run out .

    I was on codeine paracetamol naproxen after my surgery’s .A leg lifter off Amazon is must as you won’t be able to lift your leg up for while as muscles will be weak .the physio in hospital will give you exercises to do few times day.you need to commit to physio for it to improve .the first couple days I found were bit rough but it will get better with time .

    you’ll have staples or glue to close wound covered by dressing u need to keep dry staples come out 2 wks after nurse at hospital will take them out

    you can use cling film to cover dressing whilst u shower

    I had bath board over bath as shower was over bath used leg lifter to lift my op leg in out .

    you’ll have physio every 3-4 wks physio will assess you at each appt and tell u when to ditch crutches .

    it’s long recovery took me about 12 months to get over 2 knee surgery’s in 6 month period .

    I hope this helps if u need any other advice let me know as I’ve been through it twice Good luck x

  • Jules70
    Jules70 Member Posts: 65

    It’s huge op with long recovery you need to rest as much as doing exercises don’t push too soon .little and often wins the race