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Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Scheduling the Surgery

The timing for total knee replacement depends on the patient’s needs. There is never a rush as waiting a few months or even a year rarely affects the outcome. Surgery can be scheduled on the day of your initial visit, or after your visit by calling Dr. Howell’s office 916-689-1065 or 209-334-8535. You are more likely to have surgery on the date you request if you schedule 6-8 weeks in advance.

Schedule an appointment with your family physician, internist, and/or cardiologist and obtain an EKG and medical clearance as soon as you schedule your surgery. Have them fax the EKG and medical clearance to our office at 916-688-5610. We will give you forms to complete fasting laboratory studies one month before surgery. When convenient, use the laboratory at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial (call 209-339-7897 for location and hours of operation).

You may continue to take anti-inflammatory medicine and aspirin until the day of surgery. Stop taking anticoagulants such as Plavix (clopidogrel), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xeralto (rivaroxaban), Eliquis (Apixaban), Coumadin (warfarin) five days before surgery unless otherwise directed by your family physician, internist, or cardiologist.

Attend a Pre-Surgery Educational Class on Kinematic Aligned Total Knee Replacement

Call 209-339-7870 or email ( Ortho Navigator Gail Rodriques, RN to sign up to attend the free Pre-Surgery Educational Class on the Kinematically Aligned Total Knee Replacement. For convenience the class is held on every other Tuesday from 2:00 to 3:30 pm in classroom B on the first floor at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Medical Center, and every other Friday from 10:00 to 11:30 am in Dr. Howell’s Sacramento office at 8120 Timberlake Way, Suite 112. Download the educational class flyer here.

Adventist Health Patient Outcomes Assessment Tool

You are encouraged to complete the electronic assessment tool that will be sent to you via email. Like the Oxford Knee Score assessment, this assessment is a tool is also used to measure the quality of your recovery. We ask you to take the assessment before your surgery, as it gives us a baseline measurement of how you are functioning. We will then ask you to repeat the assessment a few times after your surgery, which allows us to compare the results and make sure you are recovering properly.

What to Bring to the Hospital

  • Personal items – glasses, dentures, hearing aids, toiletries, insurance cards, photo ID and a detailed list of your medications (cell phones are okay)
  • Loose-fitting pants or shorts with elastic waist with the ability to view the knee (but no elastic at the ankles), non-skid shoes with a back (no flip-flops, Crocs are okay), a light robe
  • Specific medications only if directed to do so
  • Advance Healthcare Directive/Healthcare Power of Attorney if you have one
  • Bring your favorite front-wheeled walker if you have one. If you don’t have one, we will provide one.

PLEASE DON’T BRING: Bottles that contain prescription medication (unless otherwise directed), jewelry, large amounts of money, or keys. You may use a credit card or write a check when you need to make a co-pay on the day of admission.

Choose a Personal Coach

Select a family member, friend, or caregiver as your personal coach to assist you during your preparation and recovery from surgery. The state-of-the-art patient rooms at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial have a comfortable fold-out bed and a walk-in shower that a family member, friend, or coach can use when staying with the patient.