Howard J Kapp, Orthopedic Surgeon

Discharge Instructions for Total Knee Replacement

  1. On the morning of your discharge, you will be given prescriptions for your pain and medication, Coumadin (blood thinner), Repliva (iron), and possibly Celebrex or Mobic (for inflammation) and possibly an antibiotic.
  2. Home Health Care will have been arranged for a nurse and physical therapist to come to your house. They will contact you to make an appointment with you within 24 hours of your discharge. The nurse will change your dressing and remove your staples (two and a half weeks post-op). The nurse will also do finger stick blood tests, twice weekly (or occasionally more frequently) to assess your Coumadin dosage.
  3. The physical therapists (both in the hospital and at home) will review a home exercise program, will advance you from a walker to a cane when you are ready, and will advance your CPM machine.
  4. Before you leave the hospital, call John Sivillo at Capital Medical Corporation (800-386-1978) to let him know when you are being discharged so that a CPM machine (to work on range of motion of your knee) can be delivered to your house.
  5. You will be given an ice bag with compression at your preoperative appointment. Use this 4-5 times a day at home or more but only for 15-20 minutes at a time.
  6. You should make an appointment to see Dr. Kapp approximately 2 weeks after your discharge from the hospital.
  7. You may be given compression stockings while you are in the hospital. Not all patients will be given them or need them. The purpose of compression stockings is to relieve swelling not to prevent blood clots. You will be on Coumadin to prevent blood clots. If you are given compression stockings, use them during the day and remove them at night. You should wear them as long as you have swelling.
  8. Some wound drainage after knee replacement is to be expected. Your nurse will change your dressing until the wound is dry. Once the dressing is off, you can cover the wound with a water-proof plastic dressing (such as Tegaderm or cellophane) to shower. Your skin staples will be removed (by your home nurse) at two-and-a-half weeks post-op. Once your staples are removed, the wound does not need to be covered to shower. You can get in a pool 3 weeks after surgery, but not the Gulf of Mexico.

Download Discharge Instructions for Total Knee Replacement