Key Questions Before Undergoing Knee Replacement
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Making the decision to undergo knee replacement surgery can be a big one, and it’s important for patients to have all the information they need to make an informed decision. Asking the right questions prior to surgery can help patients ensure that knee replacement surgery is the right procedure for them, and that they have chosen the right doctor to perform the surgery.
Why is knee replacement surgery necessary?
This is a crucial question to ask, as it will help you understand the reasons behind the need for surgery and what to expect from the procedure. The quick answer is that Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure that involves removing the damaged parts of the knee joint and replacing them with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, or ceramic materials. The primary reason for knee replacement surgery is pain relief.
Who is a candidate for knee replacement surgery?
Candidates for knee replacement surgery are typically adults who have severe knee pain and stiffness that limits their ability to perform daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Candidates may also have tried non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, injections or medications, without success.
What are the alternatives to knee replacement surgery?
It’s important to explore non-surgical options, such as physical therapy, medications, or injections, before considering surgery. Asking about alternatives can help you make an informed decision.
What type of knee replacement surgery is right for me?
There are different types of knee replacement surgeries, such as total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and robotic-assisted knee replacement. Asking about the different options can help you determine which one is best for your situation.
What are the risks and complications associated with knee replacement surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with knee replacement surgery. Understanding these risks can help you make an informed decision.
What is the expected recovery time and rehabilitation process?
It’s important to understand what the recovery process will look like, how long it will take, and what kind of rehabilitation you will need to undergo.
What can I expect during the recovery period?
The recovery period following knee replacement surgery can vary depending on the patient’s overall health and the extent of the surgery. However, most patients can expect to stay in the hospital overnight and up to a few days and will need physical therapy and rehabilitation to help regain strength and mobility in the knee joint. Physical therapy will usually begins at home through visiting nursing and then will move to the outpatient setting for 8-12 weeks
How long will the knee replacement last?
The lifespan of a knee replacement can vary depending on several factors, such as the patient’s age, activity level, and overall health. However, most knee replacements last between 15 and 20 years.
What are the risks of knee replacement surgery?
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with knee replacement surgery, such as infection, blood clots, and nerve or blood vessel damage. However, the risks are generally low and can be minimized by carefully following post-operative instructions and working closely with your healthcare team. The most common risk is knee stiffness and pain which is the primary reason for the post surgical physical therapy
Will I be able to resume normal activities after knee replacement surgery?
Most patients are able to resume normal activities, such as walking and climbing stairs, after knee replacement surgery. However, high-impact activities such as running or jumping may not be recommended, as they can put stress on the artificial joint.
How long does the surgery take?
The length of the surgery can vary depending on several factors, such as the extent of the damage to the knee joint and the type of procedure being performed. However, most knee replacement surgeries take between one and two hours.
Will I need to take pain medication after surgery?
Pain medication is typically prescribed after knee replacement surgery to help manage pain and discomfort during the recovery period. However, the need for pain medication can vary depending on the patient’s individual experience and pain tolerance. It is advised, when able, to maximize over the counter medication-Tylenol and Non steroidal anti-inflammatories (advil/aleve) and wean off the narcotic pain medication as soon as possible
How soon after surgery can I return to work?
The length of time before returning to work can vary depending on the patient’s job requirements and the extent of the surgery. However, most patients are able to return to work within four to six weeks after surgery.
Overall, knee replacement surgery is a common and effective procedure that can help alleviate pain and improve mobility for many patients. If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Joint Replacement Surgeons to determine if the procedure is right for you.