Whether you have suffered an injury or are living with chronic pain and immobility due to arthritis, a knee replacement may be necessary. This surgery can be beneficial for some patients, but due to its invasive nature, proper understanding is imperative beforehand. Thankfully, help is available for understanding and preparing for a knee replacement. Here are a few questions to ask before undergoing knee replacement surgery.
Are Other Treatments Possible?
Again, a knee replacement surgery is an invasive procedure, so you should ask if there are other options available to treat your pain, joint damage, and mobility.
In some cases, exercises with the help of a physical therapist can help. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and even stretching or weight-training, will reduce inflammation and pain, which can ease your pain and immobility issues.
Injections into the knee joint may also be recommended before surgery. These injections contain anti-inflammatory medications, which ease inflammation and swelling, limiting pain in and around the knee joint.
Of course, if physical therapy and pain medications are not effective, your doctor will recommend knee replacement surgery for a more effective long-term solution.
How Do You Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery?
Once you know that a knee replacement surgery is inevitable, you can begin to prepare.
You will need to make sure to have transportation to and from the surgery, but also transportation for a few weeks after the surgery because you will not be able to drive. A few mobility aids at home will also be beneficial. Consider investing in a walker or crutches to use after your surgery.
If you live in a multi-level home and your bedroom is on an upper floor, consider moving a bed down to a lower level for you to sleep in during your recovery. Walking up and down the stairs after your surgery will be challenging.
Talk to your doctor about what medications you should avoid taking before your surgery, too. Invest in a few warm and cold compresses to use after your surgery for pain relief and to help with swelling.
How Long Is Recovery?
Everyone is different, so your total recovery time will be different from another patient in most cases.
However, you should expect to be in the hospital 1 to 2 days after the actual surgery to determine if there will be any complications.
With proper physical therapy, most patients are able to resume normal activities within 6 weeks of their knee surgery.
For more information, contact a doctor that performs orthopedic surgery.