How to prepare for knee replacement surgery

How to prepare for knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, can get you back on your feet if you've been suffering from debilitating knee pain or have trouble getting around. During the procedure, a surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage from your thigh bone, shinbone and kneecap and inserts an artificial joint made of metal and plastic that can result in less pain and improved function.

Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed in the United States. Being well-prepared for any kind of surgery can positively affect its outcome, so it's important to be informed about the best ways to prepare for it.

Here are a few ways you can prepare for an upcoming knee replacement surgery. 

Discuss anesthesia options with your provider. Knee replacement surgery requires either spinal or epidural anesthesia, which leaves the patient awake but numb from the waist down, or general anesthesia, which leaves the patient unconscious. All types of anesthesia can sometimes be supplemented with regional block (injection) of local anesthesia in your leg to lessen the pain.

Plan for recovery. Enlisting a health coach can make your recovery much easier. Your coach can be your spouse, a family member or a close friend. A health coach should be available to support you throughout the process of recovery and accompany you to the hospital on the day of surgery. It is also important to have your coach accompany you on follow-up appointments and assist with transportation, meals and personal care. Having someone to assist you during this time can speed and ease your recovery.

Prepare your home. Plan to live on one floor, install handrails in the shower, get a comfortable chair with a footstool and remove loose rugs and cords. Place items you will need or frequently use within easy reach of your chair.

Get in shape. The more physically fit you are before your surgery, the faster your recovery will be. Smoking in particular alters the body's ability to heal after surgery, so if you smoke, quit now. For further assistance, contact your healthcare provider.

Ask questions. Don't be afraid to get answers from your healthcare provider. Common questions can include: What's the hospital admission process? How long will I stay in the hospital? How long will recovery take? How will my pain be managed?

Put together a list of medical and personal information for your healthcare provider or caretaker to access, if necessary.

You should always feel comfortable asking your provider questions about any procedure you're considering undergoing. Talk to an expert at Goshen Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine if you're considering knee replacement surgery.


Posted: 8/12/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise

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