On Knee Replacement Surgery Day, Should You Skip Your Medication?

The night before knee replacement surgery, you’ll need to refrain from eating or drinking anything once the clock strikes midnight. So you may wonder if you should skip taking your medications the day of your procedure.

On Knee Replacement Surgery day

Your surgeon will review all your medications and let you know which ones, if any, you should take (with only a few sips of water) on surgery day. If you’re curious about what to expect, however, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons publishes general guidelines on the medications you will likely need to take that day.

Heart Medication

If you’re on heart medication, you’ll probably be advised to take your regular dose on the day of surgery.

You might also need to take an additional medication called a beta blocker to reduce the risk of heart problems during and after the procedure. If you have a history of heart attacks, coronary artery disease or chest pain with physical activity, consult with your cardiologist before surgery.

Blood Pressure Medication

Blood pressure medication usually should not be skipped on surgery day.

You may be advised to get a blood pressure check a few days before your procedure, and if the reading is too high or too low, your primary care physician can make an adjustment to your medication dosage.

Blood Thinner Medication

Blood thinners should not be taken on the day of knee replacement, and in fact, most patients are advised to stop taking these medications a week or two before surgery. In some cases, a short-acting blood thinner is recommended instead, one that can be taken until a few hours prior to the procedure.

Diabetic Medication

If you take insulin to manage diabetes, your dose might need to be adjusted. Oral diabetic medications can interfere with anesthesia and may need to be skipped. Your surgeon will likely ask that you talk to your primary care physician about how to effectively manage your diabetes when getting knee replacement surgery.

Steroid Medication

Long-term steroid therapy should be continued during and after knee replacement surgery, depending on the specific drug. Your surgeon may also give you an additional dose at the start of your procedure to help control your blood pressure.

Immunosuppressant Medication

Immunosuppressants can slow down the healing process after surgery, but this type of medication isn’t always stopped prior to knee replacement. Depending upon your particular inflammatory condition and medication, you may be advised to continue taking your regular dose or to discontinue use for a short period before your procedure.

Nonprescription Medication

Over-the-counter dietary supplements and medications are typically not advised for the day of surgery, and they may not be recommended during the recovery period. Some interfere with medications that are needed after knee replacement, and continuing their use can contribute to complications.

Is Dr. Spencer H. Amundsen of northern Utah’s Center of Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Excellence performing your knee replacement surgery? Long before the day of your procedure, our medical team will make sure to address all your questions and concerns — you don’t have to worry about being unprepared.

As one of the region’s leading joint reconstruction specialists, Dr. Amundsen is known for providing exceptional, expert care throughout the treatment process. For more information on knee replacement surgery, contact our West Jordan office today to schedule a consultation.

amundsen orthopedic surgeon utah
Orthopedic Surgeon at CORE West Jordan
Dr. Spencer Amundsen is a fellowship-trained Total Joint Specialist at the Center of Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Excellence. He specializes in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee, including primary and revision joint replacements. He is certified in Mako robotic hip and knee surgery and Birmingham hip resurfacing. He has extensive training in anterior approach hip replacements and computer navigation.