Preparations for total knee replacement surgery occurs weeks before the surgery. Apart from lifestyle and medication modifications, your surgeon will also perform pre-operative planning which includes a pre-operative evaluation. The surgeon needs to gather all the pertinent information to determine if you are in good enough health condition to get the total knee replacement procedure done.
A pre-operative evaluation includes a thorough physical examination, laboratory tests, and diagnostics. The results of the evaluation establish your risk profile and allow the surgeon to anticipate potential issues that may arise during surgery. It may also help reduce the risk of premature implant failure.
Here’s an idea of what takes place in a pre-operative evaluation before a total knee replacement surgery.
Review of Your Medical History
Your surgeon will review your medical history to look for issues that could make your procedure high risk. Previous surgeries, a history of infection, existing chronic diseases, and current medications may not just influence surgery success but also affect your eligibility for total knee replacement surgery. As such, your surgeon will do a thorough examination of your medical history to ensure getting the procedure is safe for you.
Physical Examination, Laboratory Tests, and Diagnostic Imaging
Your surgeon will also conduct a thorough physical examination that includes the assessment of your soft tissues, ruling out any sources of infection, injury, or complications that can lead to issues during surgery.
The complete assessment of your soft tissues usually includes checks on skin condition, circulation, ligament health, range of motion, patellar instability, and gait. Any dental conditions such as gum disease need to be resolved before surgery, as the chance of bacteria traveling from your mouth to your joint is possible.
Tests and Exams
Laboratory tests and image-guided exams are also part of the pre-operative evaluation for total knee replacement.
Patients usually undergo the following tests:
- Electrocardiography (EKG) to check for heart conditions
- Urinalysis to check for infection, diabetes, and other diseases
- CBC Blood Test to detect infections and screen for certain disorders
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) for information on metabolic health, including blood glucose levels, electrolytes, and acid/base balance
- Albumin (Blood) Test to check for malnutrition and liver disease
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Test to check for levels of inflammation in the body
- Prothrombin Time Test (PT) to check blood clotting time
Patients also undergo radiography exams such as a chest X-ray to check for lung infections or disease. Imaging exams of the knee such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans may also be done and can reveal bone defects that may influence the type of implant that should be used in the surgery. Correct implant selection is critical to a successful outcome.
Knee Replacement Surgeons in Naples, FL
Total knee replacement surgery is a highly complex procedure that should only be entrusted in the hands of an experienced orthopedic surgeon. The Joint Replacement Institute is a leader in the field of orthopedics, and our highly experienced orthopedic surgeons are able to perform the most advanced knee surgeries to permanently alleviate your symptoms and restore normal knee function.
Find out how our knee surgeons can help you. Call to schedule a consultation at (239) 261-2663 or request an appointment online now.