Basic care may include a dry sterile dressing while the staples are still intact. Once the staples are removed, steri-strips may be placed on the incision and the site may be kept open to air. The procedure will vary with each patient’s needs.
Caring for Your New Knee
- Don’t try too much too soon. You may need to set aside rest periods for the morning and evening when you first go home.
- You may need to use an incentive spirometer while in the hospital. This will help prevent pneumonia. The nurse will show you how to use it and how often.
- Before you have a procedure done either by your doctor or dentist, let them know of your new knee at the time that the appointment is made because they may want to put you on an antibiotic.
- Your doctor can give you an identification card which tells you about your new knee. This will be needed at times, for instance, when you go through metal detectors because they may alarm.
- Please keep your appointments and have necessary lab work drawn.
- Your knee is designed for low impact exercises like walking and bike riding. Talk to your physician before beginning high impact activities like jogging.
- Ask your doctor before resuming sexual relations.
- Avoid excessive twisting at the knee as would be done with gardening.
It is important to take pain medication before the pain gets bad. This will help you get around with less discomfort and participate more in therapies. Your doctor will choose a medication which will help with the pain but won’t make you drowsy.
Call Your Doctor in the Event of:
Call 911 if You Develop:
- Fever greater than 100 degrees
- Bruising easily
- Cloudy, bloody urine
- Nose bleeds or gums bleed easily
- Incision with drainage, swelling or redness
- Calf pain or swelling
- Chest cold
- Black, tarry stools
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
Call your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection anywhere in your body, like a chest cold. An infection elsewhere can travel quickly to your new knee if not properly treated.