Abstract The orthopedic surgeon has several options available for blood conservation. Preoperative autologous donation (PAD) of blood is a cost-effective measure when the cost of managing transfusion-transmitted infectious disease is considered; overuse and underuse are expensive problems, however. Hemodilution, while used successfully in prostate surgery, is logistically impractical in joint replacement centers. Intraoperative blood salvage, although costly, is useful in orthopedic procedures when the anticipated blood loss is > 1,000 mL. Reinfusion of postoperative drainage that has been filtered and washed is being used in some orthopedic procedures. Studies are under way to determine whether this method of blood conservation alters transfusion requirements. Recombinant human erythropoietin (Epoetin alfa) has a role in elective procedures with significant blood loss, including complex revision joint replacement, bilateral joint arthroplasty, and spinal fusion. Preoperative Epoetin alfa administration enhances preoperative autologous blood collection and increases perioperative red blood cell mass.