7. Return to work. Those with a desk job may be able to return in as little as two weeks. If your job involves heavy labor, you could be out for several months.
8. Be realistic about outcome. "A knee replacement improves quality of life by reducing pain and improving mobility. It is not designed to make you younger or allow you to do activities that add stress to the joint or risk added injury," says Baumgaertner.
Beth Levine is a freelance writer who lives in Stamford, Conn.