Following the operation the incision will be protected with a mesh dressing and surgical glue. Your knee will be wrapped with gauze and an ACE bandage on top. The bandage is bulky and designed to decrease bleeding and swelling. The bandage (ACE wrap and gauze) should be removed on post-op day 3. (Example: if surgery is Thursday – the bandage is to be removed on Sunday.) Leave the mesh dressing intact. See When should the mesh dressing be removed?


The mesh dressing is to be removed two weeks (14 days) following the surgery. It can be easily pulled off like a band-aid.

Redness and bruising in the affected extremity is common and can be extensive on occasion. Frequent ice and elevation can decrease these symptoms. If you are concerned, call the office and/or take a picture and send it to Dr. Calton, or Holly. See How can I contact someone?

Frequent ice and elevation can decrease these symptoms. If you are concerned, call the office and/or take a picture and send it to Dr. Calton, or Holly. See How can I contact someone?

Office:(801) 758-0206, Text or Call

Dr. Thomas Calton, MD cell: 801-540-9556

Holly Ahern, PA-C cell: 801-710-9285

A nurse will show you how to empty blood from the drain during the first two days. If there is more than 150 cc in 8 hours, call Dr. Calton. See How can I contact someone? The drain is to be removed about 48 hours after surgery.  (Remove thigh tape and pull upward – should be removed easily.)

You will have a pain pump placed in your knee during surgery. It will be in a black bag that you will take home with you. Bruce, the pain pump representative, will contact you on the third post op day, and guide you step by step on how to remove it. You may call or text Bruce for any related questions. His cell number is: (801) 758-0206

Please take one baby Aspirin (81 mg) twice daily for 30 days.

Please wear TED hose (white compression stockings) for 30 days. The non-operative leg does not need a TED hose.

Narcotics will be prescribed for post operative pain and are to be taken on an as needed basis. You may decrease use as post operative pain will decrease with time. If you need a refill, please let the office know 2-3 days in advance. Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen may be used as well for interim pain relief. Do not drive, operate machinery, or consume any alcohol while taking narcotic pain medication.

Frequent icing may decrease pain and swelling. 20 minutes most hours may be helpful. However, a cold knee will be stiff so remove ice at least 30 minutes prior to performing knee exercises. Use of ice after 2 weeks is optional.

Elevating the knee above the heart is extremely important during the first few weeks following surgery as it helps decrease pain and swelling. A swollen knee is an indication to elevate more frequently. To elevate properly your torso should be flat and the affected leg on top of several pillows.

Many patients appreciate a professional physical therapist to guide their rehabilitation, please let us know if this is your preference and a referral will be provided. Other patients engage in self-directed physical therapy. Stationary bike riding will be recommended after your wound is inspected at your one-week follow up visit with either Dr. Calton or Holly. Try to use your surgical leg, as normally as possible, in daily activities such as walking and getting in/out of a chair. Straightening and bending your knee is physical therapy for the first week after surgery. The first three days you will focus on straightening your knee and performing leg lifts while your knee is straightened. Once the bandage is removed on post-op Day Three you may begin to bend your knee (flexion exercises). Watch the "Chair Routine" video on YouTube for a refresher!

Dr. Calton performing the chair routine exercises can be viewed on YouTube Perform these exercises 3-5 times a day, 10 repetitions each.

Many patients will need crutches, a cane, or a walker during the first days/weeks after surgery. It is not mandatory to use an assistive device, but we encourage you to use your best judgment to decrease the risk of limping or falling.

Schedule to see Dr. Calton or Holly about one week after surgery. Write down your questions and we will answer them accordingly. You will be asked to go through knee exercises during the appointment including walking, straightening, and bending your knee.

Showers are appropriate three days after your operation (Example: if surgery is Thursday, then Sunday is day three) once the bandage has been removed. No bathing or swimming until seen by Dr. Calton or Holly.

Typically, patients require 2-6 weeks of recovery before returning to work. Some return sooner assuming they are progressing well with a good range of motion, minimal swelling, and taking few (if any) narcotics. You may drive once you are off narcotic pain medication and when you feel safe to do so. It is your decision, so please use good judgment.

Knee replacement surgery requires your participation. Your success relies heavily on following instructions and the physical work you put in after the surgery is performed. Keep at it! Best of luck! The entire medical team is pulling for your success!