Key Steps for Preparing for Your Surgery

First of all, congratulations! You scheduled your surgery and have taken one of the biggest steps in your quest for a more comfortable and active life. Preparing for surgery ahead of time can help ensure you have a successful surgery, along with a smooth recovery.  There are a few steps you can take into account to put you on the right track.

Step 1: Do your Homework

Learn about your procedure, and do your own research on how the surgery will provide relief to your pain.  Doing some of your own research can also help you understand the technicalities of surgery and the benefits on your own terms.  Having a solid grasp of what will be going on the day of surgery will help you better process the large amount of information that the doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses will be discussing with you in the appointments before, during and after surgery.

Step 2: Ask Questions of your Medical Team

If anything remains unclear to you, ask questions! Going into the procedure knowing the answer to all of your questions, and having a solid understanding of what to fully expect, will ease your anxiety.  Your Medical Team will give you a lot of information, but don’t feel shy about asking some questions of your own to facilitate discussion. Here are a few questions that can help:

  • How much pain can I expect, and how will it be managed in the hospital and after I go home?
  • What activities can I do after surgery? Which activities should I avoid?
  • What steps can I take to optimize my healing, reduce pain and get my life back quicker?
  • Are there tools I can use to speed by healing such as the medical grade products on

Step 3: Think Healthy

It might seem counterintuitive to promote movement and exercise before your surgery, but it does have some major benefits.  Scientific research has made it perfectly clear that if you are close to your normal weight, it reduces the chances of surgical complications. Getting in the best physical shape possible before surgery can set you up for success, and  reduce the chance of complications and shorten your recovery time. Here are some important ideas:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol 48 hours before surgery, and eliminate exposure to tobacco at least 2 weeks prior to your operation.
  • A nutritious diet has a positive effects on recovery. Focus on foods containing iron, calcium, vitamins C and D. Foods that include dairy and fresh colorful fruits and vegetables.  Protein is also important to the body’s healing process.
  • Strengthen your upper body to prepare your muscles for use of a cane or walker. Having strength prior to relying on these devices for mobility can decrease the chance of an accident while at home.
  • Ask your doctor which exercises you will be doing postoperatively.  You can start doing these exercises before surgery.  If are familiar with them, you will be ready to implement these into your Physical Therapy.

Step 4: Prepare for Rehab

Understanding the recovery process, and what to expect after surgery is just as important as all of the preoperative preparations you will be going through.  Your rehab phase is half of the battle towards a more active pain-free life. Understanding the pain you will experience after surgery will help you understand the healing process your body is going through.  Pain is often triggered by

  1. Prepare your home to make it safe. John’s Hopkins Hospital preoperative checklist for their Total Knee Replacement patients suggests preparing your entire home for surgery by removing any throw rugs, and tacking down loose carpeting, installing night lights throughout hallways and bathrooms, and removing loose electrical cords to avoid a fall. Additionally, make frequently used items within an easy reach, such as a water bottle, chapstick, your favorite book, the TV remote, or a cell phone charger.
  2. Line up your help. Responsibilities can pile up around the house or at work while you recover, which can lead to additional stress. Delegate a family members or hire a service to take care of these items so you don’t rush your recovery. Have a neighbor mow your lawn or take your dog for a walk while you are bedridden, hire a gardener or arrange a meal delivery service. Tying up and loose ends will help ease your anxiety and let you focus on your recovery.

Step 4: Don’t Let Your Discomfort Define You

Investing in your rehab and making it a priority can increase your quality of life in the long run. Using a dedicated tool like the MyComfortMD Knee Buddy can simplify your recovery process, and also hold you accountable to your elevation routine and extension exercises.  Recovery can be a long road, and having the correct products accessible and planning accordingly can make the transition to a full recovery that much easier. Heal faster and get back on your feet quickly!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Close Menu