Traveling After Total Knee Replacement

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If you are planning to travel after your total knee replacement, please discuss this with us so we can work together to develop a plan of a safe journey.If appropriate measures are taken, it is safe to travel after surgery without an increased risk of complication.

Tell the TSA officer you have a knee replacement and they will follow their protocol for your safe travel

Most people will feel safe to travel within a few weeks after surgery. However, your comfort level will play an important role in determining when you a ready to take a long car ride or travel by plane.You may experience increased pain and swelling after traveling, but this is usually short-lived and should respond with little change to your recovery program.

What precautions should I take when traveling

In general, there is an increased risk of developing a blood clot after surgery whether or not you travel. Taking medications, such as aspirin or blood thinners, or wearing compression stockings when traveling long distances minimizes this risk. If you have a higher than normal risk for blood clots, it is important that you have a discussion with your physician about what medication to take to prevent a blood clot before traveling long distances.

These are some other beneficial recommendations:

  • Walk and move around frequently. This can be as simple as walking the aisle of the plane or stopping the car and taking a walk every one or two hours.
  • Do calf squeezes or ankle pumps to keep the circulation in your legs moving.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water or juice. Avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee or alcohol

Will my implant set off the metal detector at the airport

Medical alert cards are available upon request. Whether or not you have a card to alert the security personnel, they may have you step aside for further screening. To help you on your way, wear clothes that allow you to easily reveal your surgical scar (such as sweat pants, shorts or a skirt). Alert the security staff that you have a knee replacement.You will likely be screened with a metal detecting wand, but security sees many patients with implants, and you should not be delayed.