Planning for Your Knee Replacement Surgery

After the decision to proceed with surgery has been made, Dr. Cuellar and his staff will help you with your preoperative planning. You will meet with the scheduler who will help you find a convenient surgery date. You will be given educational materials, prescriptions for iron and postoperative supplies, and dates for blood donation, medical clearances and tests.

Your x-rays will be used to plan your specific surgery using templates that match the implant size. Any other considerations such as correction of deformities and special implant needs will be made during the surgery planning phase.

You may need to receive medical clearances from your primary care physician or specialist. Typically, this is done if you have any significant medical problem like a heart condition, diabetes, lung disease, kidney disorder, neurological problems and others illnesses.

You also will be asked to donate blood prior to surgery so that your own blood can be given back to you during surgery (referred to as autologous blood donation).

Medical Equipment to Secure Prior to Surgery:

You will need certain medical supplies to facilitate your recovery and help to insure safety. These supplies can be obtained from a medical supply store. For knee replacement surgery we recommend a walker or crutches for ambulatory aid. Also, an elevated commode chair helps with your bathroom needs. Other supplies will be ordered on an individual basis.


You should STOP ALL anti-inflammatory medication seven days prior to surgery. This includes prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter medication.

Below is a list of medications you should omit prior to surgery. THIS LIST IN NOT COMPLETE, therefore if you have any questions ask Dr. Cuellar or his staff.

Prescription Medication – Anaprox, Arthrotec, Bextra, Clinoril, Celebrex, Daypro, Dolobid, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Motrin, Mobic, Naprosyn, Nalfon, Naprelan, Orudis, Oruvail, Relafen, Tolectin, Trilisate, Vioxx, & Voltaren.

Over-the-Counter Medication – Advil, Aleve, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naproxen, Nuprin, Orudis, and any generic form or store brand of these medications.

If you are taking Methotrexate, Arava, or Remicade, these medications should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery. Consult your rheumatologist or prescribing doctor. If you are taking prednisone, adjustments may need to be made – please inform Dr. Cuellar.

If you are taking any medications to thin your blood, including Aspirin, Coumadin, Persantine, Plavix and Trental, you should consult your Cardiologist or prescribing doctor before discontinuing and make Dr. Cuellar aware.

If you are taking any herbal medications, these should also be stopped at least seven days prior to surgery. This includes glucosamine and chondroitin. These medications are not regulated, and we are not sure of their effects on surgical procedures.

All diet medications should be discontinued two weeks prior to surgery. This includes over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs.

This list may not include all medications that could cause potential problems. If you are taking any medications that are not listed here and are unsure about them, please ask your doctor or nurse. Failure to discontinue these medications could cause complications at the time of your surgery or postoperatively.

The Night Before Surgery:

  • Do not consume any food or liquid after midnight (This means nothing – not coffee, not water, not ice chips.)
  • Notify Dr. Cuellar if you become sick in any way
  • Notify Dr. Cuellar if you have any cuts or open areas on your body
  • Be sure to take all of your normal medications, unless Dr. Cuellar has instructed you not to take certain medications. (See Medication Section)

Due to health risks that occur during surgery, your surgery will be CANCELED if you consume any food or liquid after midnight the night before surgery.

What to Bring to the Hospital:

  • A list of all your medication, doses and when you take them
  • Loose, comfortable clothing (or you may wear a hospital gown)
  • You will need a walker immediately following surgery