PATELLAR TENDON DEBRIDEMENT SURGERY PREOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS
Here are guidelines that will help you prepare for surgery:
WITHIN ONE MONTH BEFORE SURGERY:
Dr. Gill will see you in the office. The doctor or his associate will do a preoperative history and physical examination and complete the necessary paperwork. He will write preoperative hospital orders and order laboratory tests. These tests usually include a complete blood count (and also electrocardiogram for patients over 40 years old.)
SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE SURGERY:
Wash the knee several times a day to get it as clean as you can. This decreases the risk of infection. Be careful not to get any scratches, cuts, sunburn, poison ivy, etc. The skin has to be in very good shape to prevent problems. You do not need to shave the knee.
THE DAY BEFORE SURGERY:
Please contact the doctor’s office to get the exact time you should report to the hospital for surgery. You can have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the evening before surgery. It is very important to have a completely empty stomach prior to surgery for anesthesia safety reasons. If you have to take medication, you can take the medication with a sip of water early in the morning prior to surgery (but later tell the anesthesiologist you have done so).
THE DAY OF SURGERY:
Please bring the crutches, ice machine or imaging studies that you might have received.
If a problem inside of the knee is suspected (such as chondromalacia), arthroscopy may be done in addition to open surgery to debride the patellar tendon. After anesthesia has been given, your knee will be cleaned and sterile drapes will be placed. To perform the patellar tendon debridement, a small incision will be made over the patellar tendon in just below the kneecap. Dr. Gill will debride the tendon and then repair the injured area.
You will be given a prescription for pain medication to take home with you (usually Percocet, Vicodin, or Tylenol with codeine). The pain medication has a tendency to make you constipated while you are taking it and occasionally can cause nausea.
In addition to pain medication you should take one aspirin a day for 10 days to help prevent blood clots (phlebitis) unless there is a reason to avoid aspirin.
You will have a knee brace applied to protect the knee. The immobilizer can be removed for washing and sleeping, but should be used when you are up and walking for about two weeks. If necessary, you can use crutches for the first week or two to take excess pressure off of the knee.
The dressing will be changed the day following surgery and can be removed at two days. The wound is sealed with steri-strips (small pieces of tape on the skin). You can shower on the second day following surgery, but be careful standing in the shower so you do not fall. It is better to have a small stool to be able to sit on. You can get the incision wet and wash the knee.
If the lower leg swells, use below-knee elastic stockings to control swelling. If you develop calf pain or excessive swelling in the leg, call the doctors office.
The cryocuff is a blue wrap that is sometimes put on the knee to make it easier to keep it cold. You can use the cryocuff or ice packs as often as you want to cool down the knee to reduce swelling and pain.
Please arrange an office visit approximately 7 to 10 days after surgery for suture removal and further instructions.
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