Pre-Operation and Pre-Admission Hospital Appointment For Knee Replacement (What To Expect)

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This article explains my pre-operation appointment at my surgeon’s office and my pre-operation appointment at the hospital. My first visit with the surgeon was two months before surgery, my last visit with the surgeon took place ten days before TKR surgery. The appointment at the hospital took place one week prior to knee replacement surgery.

I was told what to expect and how to prepare during the last 10 days before the knee replacement surgery. I was given information on the procedure, hospital stay and home care, as well as rehabilitation.

During the meeting at the surgeon’s office I was given information for my pre-operation hospital visit and instructions for the day before and the day of the operation. I was also given an opportunity to ask any questions concerning my operation.

During my meeting at the hospital I completed a pre-operation registration/admission form and had several medical tests. After both visits, I was sent home with written information that summarized each visit.

In the sections below I’ll share details of the pre-operation appointment and pre-admission hospital appointment for knee replacement surgery.  I hope the information gives you more clarity for what to expect.  The sections are broken down accordingly:

  • Scheduling Pre-Op appointment for TKR
    • Getting my “passport” for the hospital
  • What to bring to your Pre-Op appointment for TKR
  • About the Pre-Op appointment
  • My Pre-Admission appointment for the hospital
  • My thoughts after my appointments
  • Conclusion

Scheduling My Pre-Op Appointment For Knee Replacement

After making the decision to have TKR, the surgeon and I scheduled the surgery, the pre-operation visit and also the first post-operation visit. I had a choice of two hospitals in my area to have the surgery.

After a short discussion with the surgeon I chose the hospital nearest my home. He gave me a “Passport” to my hospital of choice.

He informed me that the hospital would contact me directly to set up a hospital pre-operation visit. In a few days I received a phone call from the hospital and together we set up a time and date for my pre-operation visit.

During the phone call the nurse explained to me what to expect. She also told me that they would be sending me a packet in the mail. In the packet there were forms to fill out prior to my visit and also information on what to expect.

Related: Lifestyle Tips to Delay or Avoid Knee Replacement

Passport to My Community Hospital

The Passport was filled with an abundance of information. The first page contained all of the dates for medical appointments that were scheduled leading up to my surgery.

It also told me what to bring to my Pre-Admission Appointment and the address (with a small map) and phone numbers of the hospital where the surgery would take place. Page 2 was a countdown to surgery explaining the things that I needed to do 3-10 days before surgery, 1 day prior to surgery and what to do on the day of the surgery.

Page 3 and 4 provided more instructions on the night before surgery and the day of surgery.

Page 5 explained important financial information including medical insurance, canceling surgery and my hospital bill.

Finally page 6 explained my time in the operating room, after surgery, recovering in the hospital and leaving the hospital.

What To Bring To Your Pre-Op Appointment For Knee Replacement At The Surgeons office

I was asked to bring a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that I was taking. Fortunately for me, I had a blank list.

I was also asked to bring my most current X-Rays and any summaries of alternative medical treatment during the last two years. I was also advised to bring a notebook with any questions that I would like answered.

Related: Must Have Items After Knee Replacement

My Pre-Operation Appointment At The Surgeons Office For Knee Replacement

I arrived on time and was greeted at the front desk. I was immediately brought back and was interviewed by the Surgeon’s nurse.

  • She took my list of medications and X-rays.
  • She updated my information on her computer and then orally asked again about medications I was taking and if I had any allergies, especially to antibiotics, latex or metals.
  • She asked if I, or anyone in my family has ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia.
  • She also asked if I have had a bad cold or a urinary infection lately or if I had a rash, bad cut or sore on any part of my body.
  • She asked if I was taking any street drugs like marijuana or heroin.

She gave me two forms to fill out while I waited to see the Physician’s Assistant.

  • One form was the Medical and Surgical Procedures Disclosure and Consent. It was straightforward and explained who would be in attendance at my surgery. The form also disclosed the complications from surgery and anesthesia that could arise.
  • The complications included infection, blood clots, leg length discrepancy and of course death. This was not the most uplifting part of my visit, however I filled the forms out as requested.

Related: Things to Consider Before Getting Knee Replacement

  • The 2nd form she had me fill out was the Koos Knee Survey for Medicare. It was a very interesting survey asking me many questions.
  • First about my symptoms where I answered: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often or Always. The other questions were about Stiffness, Pain, Function for daily living and finally Function, for sports and recreational activities.
  • I rated each question None, Mild, Moderate, Severe or Extreme.

After I completed the paperwork, the physician’s assistant met with me.

  • He explained the actual procedure again in detail and was anxious to answer any questions I had.
  • He also explained the choices I had for anesthesia and the pro’s and con’s of each so that I would be informed when I met with the Anesthesiologist. He also explained the tourniquet they would use, as well as how they cauterized the blood vessels and what they would do to prevent clotting.
  • He advised me to get a supply of aspirin and a tube of scar gel to use after the surgery.  He told me my next stop would be across the room for X-rays that the surgeon would use to make a “template” for my knee implant.

I had X-rays of both my bad and my good knee taken. Two X-rays standing up with a slight knee bend and 2 of the bad knee lying down with my knee bent. After the X-rays were taken I again met the physicians assistant and he displayed and went over the X-rays with me.

Again he asked if I had any questions. I asked for copies of the Disclosure and Consent forms as well as a copy of the Koos Knee Survey.

He advised me to stop taking the following medications as of today: Advil, Ibuprofen, Alieve and aspirin as well as any vitamins or supplements. The visit took roughly 45 minutes.

Related: Pros and Cons of Knee Replacement From a Retiree

My Pre-Admission Appointment At The Hospital For Knee Replacement

Two days following my pre-operation meeting at the surgeon’s office, I had my pre-admission meeting at the hospital. I was told to bring my driver’s license and my insurance cards.

The receptionist registered and checked me in so that I would be ready to go straight to surgery when I arrived on the day of the surgery.

  • She had me complete various forms and she also gave me lots of information for my stay in the hospital.
  • She also asked if I have advanced medical directives. I did not and she gave me a form to complete if I wanted to and she informed me that the hospital had a notary that would notarize the form at no cost.
  • She then walked me down to the nurse who would administer the tests I needed before surgery.
  • The nurse explained to me what would happen the day of the surgery.
  • She told me what would happen in the hospital before, during and after the surgery.
  • She told me to expect to stay at least overnight and that I needed to have someone to drive me home when I was released from the hospital.
  • The nurse drew blood, gave me an EKG and collected a urine sample.
  • She explained what I was to do the days before the surgery and the day of the surgery.

She supplemented her talk with handouts that I was to take home. Lastly, she gave me a surgery prep kit. The kit contains instructions, soap and a mitt to wash myself the night before the surgery and the morning of the surgery.

The kit even included a mini hourglass with a suction cup to hang on the shower wall to make sure I leave the soap on for at least two minutes. I was told not to eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery.

She spent about 5 minutes going over Surgical Site Infections (SSI) and what the hospital and I could do to prevent infection. Both the nurse and the receptionist encouraged me to speak up if I had questions and concerns.

They emphasized the importance of educating myself about my illness so that I understood that I was getting the proper treatment. They continually reminded me that I am a team member and I need to participate in all the decisions about my treatment.

They also asked me to select a trusted family member or friend to be my advocate. My final test was to go down the hall for a series of chest X-rays.

My Mentality After My Pre-Op Knee Replacement Appointments

After my meetings and the tests, I felt confident and was prepared to return on the day of my surgery. During my initial meeting with the surgeon he looked me in the eye and slowly explained the procedure to me.

There was no doubt in his mind that it was time to have the knee replaced. Subsequent visits to his office and the hospital were positive and all of the medical staff were polite, kind and caring. I left each visit with my questions answered and confident that I had made the right decision.

A few days after my pre-op hospital visit I received a recorded phone call giving me a website with a personal access code. The website and videos cover several subjects including: Advance Medical Directives, Anesthesia for Adults, Lowering the Risk of Infection, Managing Pain in the hospital and what to expect during my hospital stay.

All were 30 minutes or less and well worth viewing. After I watched each video I became more confident. The videos emphasized that I was a key member of my health care team. Asking questions is a good thing and the more I know the more in control I will feel.


In this article I explained the pre-operation meetings that I had in my surgeon’s office and at the hospital where the surgery was scheduled. After each meeting, I understood that I am an important member of my health care team.

I am glad I was encouraged to ask questions. At each visit I brought a list of questions and I felt satisfied that they were answered during my visits. I was given a wealth of information both written and on the Internet to review at my leisure.

I am convinced that the more you know the more confident you will be. There is a great deal of preparation that takes place before the surgery. I am confident that my health care team covered all of the bases.

I feel prepared and informed and I feel confident that I made the right decision and that I am in good hands. I am confident and ready for the day of the surgery.