Peri-Operative Care Instructions

For Patients and Caregivers

While your Nurse Navigator will provide you with instructions specific to your post-surgical recovery, here are some general guidelines for at-home recuperation from knee replacement surgery. including normal recovery symptoms along with abnormal or emergency symptoms. [Note: Patients, please remember to share these guidelines with your caregiver so that they can watch for these symptoms ,too.

Common/Normal Symptoms (no action necessary for these symptoms)

  • Low grade fever (less than 100.5o F)
  • Small amount of blood or fluid leaking from the surgical site
  • Bruising, swelling and discoloration in the involved limb or adjacent areas of the body
  • Mild numbness surrounding the wound site, possibly for 6-9 months


Abnormal Symptoms (call your surgeon and/or Patient Care Navigator immediately if you experience these symptoms)

  • Fever of more than 100.5o F
  • Progressively increasing pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive dizziness
  • Persistent headache
  • Red, swollen, oozing incision sites


Emergency (call the on-call physician if these symptoms are mild, otherwise seek immediate attention by calling 911)

  • Chest pain (call 911)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Persistent fevers >100.5o F
  • Weakness, numbness, unable to move the leg operated on
  • Red, swollen or painful calf and/or increased numbness or tingling in your foot

After Surgery Benefits

  • Dramatic pain relief
  • Pain decreases, function improves
  • Better range of motion
  • Minimizes the time from surgery to recovery

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