Arthritis and physical trauma are two common reasons for knee replacement surgeries. When the joint is too badly diseased or damaged to function properly, this orthopedic surgery can be a good option to relieve pain and improve quality of life. But before you move forward with the procedure, your orthopedic surgeon wants you to know a few things.
Conservative treatments are recommended first.
Surgeons won’t usually perform these surgeries on patients until they’ve tried conservative treatment measures. These are nonsurgical treatments, such as medications, injections, and physical therapy. If your pain isn’t well-managed or you’re having problems going about your daily routine despite these treatments, then it’s time to consider a joint replacement.
You’ll need medical clearance before an operation.
Your surgeon will ask you to visit your primary care provider to get medically cleared for surgery. This is for your own safety—the surgeon needs to know that your overall health is good enough to withstand the rigors of an operation. Expect some pre-surgery medical tests and scans, such as an X-ray and MRI scan, and a complete blood count.
The rehabilitation process is lengthy.
Replacing a major, weight-bearing joint like the knee is actually a straightforward procedure these days, but the recovery process is intensive. You’ll need to commit to following your physical therapist’s instructions, which will include regular appointments and exercise at home.
You can start physical therapy right away.
You don’t have to wait until after the operation to start physical therapy. Starting now will help improve your strength to facilitate an easier recovery. Plus, you can get a jumpstart on figuring out how to walk with crutches.
You should have realistic expectations.
A knee replacement can significantly relieve your pain and improve your daily functioning, but it won’t turn you into an Olympic athlete. Your level of functioning should be about the same as before you injured your knee or developed arthritis.
High-quality, patient-focused orthopedic care in Yampa Valley is available at Steamboat Orthopaedic Associates. They’ve been a trusted healthcare provider for residents of Steamboat Springs, CO for more than 20 years. You can call their office at (970) 879-4612.