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Knee replacement: Your health care team

As you prepare for your total knee replacement surgery, hospital stay and recovery, a health care team will work with your orthopedic surgeon to help you along your journey. Members of your health care team include:

Nursing staff

Nursing staff will instruct, support and guide you. They will coordinate your daily activities and help you with mobility, treatments, personal care, pain management and discharge planning.

Physical therapists

Physical therapists will tailor an exercise program to your specific needs. They will work with you to strengthen your new knee and supporting muscles, instruct you in mobility and transfer techniques and teach you to safely use a walker or crutches.

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists will teach you how to do daily tasks as independently as possible, following the precautions outlined by your doctor, and how to use adaptive equipment as necessary. Examples of these tasks include getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, personal hygiene and household chores.

Social workers/care management specialists

Social workers/care management specialists will work closely with you to help plan your discharge. They will also work with your family and friends to identify the support they can offer while you recover as well as provide you with information on community resources available. They will help you understand your insurance benefits and how they can meet your discharge needs.

You may also come in contact with other health care providers, including home health, dietary, pastoral care and respiratory care.

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Source: Allina Patient Education, Total Knee Replacement, third edition, ortho-ahc-90140

First published: 10/01/2000
Last updated: 12/01/2006

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts