10 Things To Consider Before A Knee Replacement
One of the many drawbacks of modern life is an increase in the number of people who require knee replacement surgery. Though old age usually contributes to this condition, it is also related to one’s lifestyle, diet and environment. Should you or a loved one be placed in a spot where you have to undergo, or are contemplating a complete knee replacement option, here is a checklist of 10 things to consider:
10. Physical Therapy: Though this seems to be a very obvious option, many do not subscribe to it due to the length of time involved and the consistency it requires. Strengthening the quadriceps is a good way to overcome knee arthritis. Consult your physical therapist to understand how regular therapy can help you avoid knee replacement surgery.
9. Weight Loss: Pain in the knees is usually attributed to the amount of stress felt at the joints. Hence, a very effective method is to knock some weight off of the body so that stress can be decreased at the joints. A rough calculation is that for every 1 pound (approx. 0.5kg) of weight lost, there would be 3 pounds of stress knocked off the knees. Do consult your dietician and physical therapist regarding weight loss strategies.
8. Other non-operative alternatives: There are a few non-operative treatments that you can undergo after a proper consultation with your physician. These include — but are not limited to — heel wedges in shoes, hyaluronic acid gel injected into the knee and knee unloader braces.
If you have decided to go ahead with the surgery, then these are some things to consider:
7. How to increase the odds of a successful surgery?
Knee replacement surgeries have become an increasingly common procedure, so the risk factor is very low — as much as 5%. However, you can do your part in increasing the odds of a successful procedure by following a few precautions beforehand. The normal inclusions are strengthening exercises (especially the upper body), losing excess weight and quitting smoking. Consult with your physician about more precautions to be taken before going under the surgical blade.
6. Home preparation: Once you are home after the surgery, you might want to rearrange some of your furniture and work out a safe flow of all the things you use. Common things to consider are your bathing and toilet arrangements. They have to be easily accessible and safe to use. If you live alone, consider having transportation and groceries covered by someone reliable.
5. Post-op care: Have a clear conversation with your doctor about how long your post-surgical care should continue. Partial and full recovery varies on a case to case basis. Having this conversation would help you plan ahead for things such as time away from work, money for expenses, home care requirements, etc.
4. Risks and complications: Though knee replacement surgeries are a fairly common procedure, it would be wise to be ready for any sort of complication that might arise from a surgery. There might be an infection or unusual pain that a patient might experience. Talk to your doctor about this and be prepared and reassured.
3. Check with your doctor about any medications you should stop before undergoing the surgery.
2. Get a second opinion on the specific type of surgery you plan to undergo, just to make sure that it is the right fit.
1. Undergo all blood and urine tests double check your current medications and only then give your consent to the surgery.
To get a professional opinion about the various knee replacement surgeries available, please consult one of our Orthopedic Doctors here.