The knee is the largest joint in the human body, and it is often vulnerable to injury, wear and tear issues, and conditions such as arthritis. Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons with around 700,000 performed each year in the United States.
Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is necessary when the knee joint is worn out or damaged leading to severe pain and reduced mobility. The damage is beyond natural repair and must be replaced.
Osteoarthritis is a common reason for this type of permanent damage. Other factors include knee injuries and bone growth disorders. Knee replacement surgery can provide significant pain relief and improved mobility. Depending on the extent of the damage in the knee, a knee replacement surgery may replace all or parts of the knee joint with artificial implants.
Recovery from knee replacement surgery can take time. It pays to prepare beforehand to ensure the surgery goes smoothly and that recovery is as comfortable and effective as possible. This way, you can go back to doing the activities you enjoy sooner.
How To Prepare For Knee Replacement Surgery
Find Out What Is Involved
Before you decide to go through with the surgery, find out as much as you can about what is involved during the procedure, the recovery process, the expectations of achieving a successful outcome, and risks or future complications involved. By finding out as much as possible, you can decide if it’s the right option for you and help ease any anxieties you may have about the procedure.
Surgery can take a physical toll on you. Work with your doctor to make sure you’re in the best possible shape before the surgery. This will help in the recovery process and reduce complications during the procedure. If you are carrying excess weight, try to lose it prior to surgery.
You should also make some lifestyle changes prior to the surgery. For example, you should quit smoking. Smoking raises the chances of complications and infection during and after surgery. It can also make wounds take longer to heal and lengthen your recovery.
It can take time to recover from a knee replacement, and this can cause disruption in your daily life. It can have an impact on those around you both at work and at home, so putting a plan in place in advance can help to ease stress and disruption during your recovery time.
If you live alone, think about recruiting a relative or friend to stay with you immediately after surgery, and ask a neighbor to take out your garbage or gather your mail for a few weeks following the procedure.
You will have to take some time off work, so plan ahead. Ask co-workers to help you out in your absence or let clients know you are going to be away for some time to recover. You may want to consider getting the surgery done during a quieter period at work when it won’t matter so much that you’re away.
If you have kids, factor in support to help out with childcare and after school activities.
Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home before surgery is critical. If your bedroom is upstairs, you will want to set up a temporary bedroom on the ground floor. Put things you use regularly within easy reach to save you from trouble later on. Make sure your living space will accommodate you and any assistive tools you will be using following the surgery (walker, crutches, etc.).
You will receive instructions and guidance from your surgeon in the lead up to your surgery. This may include stopping or reducing particular medications which could lead to complications during the procedure. Make sure to follow all instructions given by your surgeon.
Knee Replacement Surgery in San Antonio, TX
If knee pain is affecting your life and conservative treatments are no longer effective, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery. At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, our experienced orthopedic surgeons are here to help you get back to a pain-free life.
If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for knee replacement, call us today at (210) 692-7400 to schedule an appointment with one of our joint replacement surgeons in San Antonio. You can also request an appointment online at your convenience.