How to Prepare for Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

It is sensible that preparations for knee replacement recovery are done prior to actual surgical intervention. Moreover, it is also important that you be in the best possible health before undergoing knee joint replacement surgery. It is ideal that you make a checklist of tasks which the orthopedic surgeon may outline when you make up your mind & schedule to undergo the joint replacement procedure.

Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

Why Undergo Knee Joint Replacement Surgery?

Stiffness, discomfort & knee pain which has failed to benefit from nonsurgical treatments is the most common reason why people seek knee joint replacement surgery. This procedure involves replacing some or all components of the knee joint with artificial implants. While total knee replacement surgery replaces all three compartments of the diseased joint, partial knee replacement surgery is performed when damage is restricted to a particular compartment only.

Benefits of Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

The two main benefits of undergoing knee joint replacement surgery are elimination of pain & improvement in the range of motion of the knee. Of the two knee joint replacement options which are available, total knee replacement offers great improvement in the quality of life of the patient. Moreover, total knee replacement has higher rates of success with modern & advanced designs of prosthetic knee joint implants.

Preparing for Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgeons are doctors who routinely perform knee joint replacement surgery. During initial appointments they usually perform a physical examination which is meant to assess strength, stability & motion of the knee joint alongside studying the patient’s medical history. Imaging studies which are conducted in preparation for knee joint replacement surgery include x-rays which help doctors determine the extent of damage to the knee joint. Along with this the knee replacement surgery team with your personal preference inputs will decide whether to use general anesthesia or spinal or epidural anesthesia for performing the joint replacement procedure. Moreover, anesthesiologists or doctors also advise the patients to stop consuming certain dietary supplements & medications prior to undergoing knee joint replacement surgery. Patients are also commonly instructed not to eat anything after midnight prior to the day of surgery.

Planning for Knee Replacement Recovery

Knee replacement surgery patients may require walkers or crutches for several weeks following the procedure. Because of this you should make proper arrangements for transportation to go back home after the operation & for routine everyday tasks like bathing, cooking & laundry. You should also make the home space easier & safer to navigate during knee replacement recovery. Improvements with this in mind may include creating a complete living space on a single floor in order to avoid climbing stairs, installing safety bars in bathrooms, securing handrails on stairways, securing a stable chair with firm cushion back & seat, footstool for elevating leg, low toilets with seat riser arms & stable bench or chair for shower. You should also make sure to remove loose cords & rugs which can cause accidents during knee replacement recovery.

Knee Replacement Recovery Time

Although this differs from one patient to another, most knee replacement patients are able to stand & start basic movement activities with help of support right from the day after surgery, even before they are discharged from hospital. However, it is recommended that they use a cane for walking for 2 – 6 weeks following the joint replacement operation. Swelling is normal during knee replacement recovery time for about 6 months but can however be reduced with regular application of ice. Patients are allowed to drive during knee replacement recovery time only after they have come out of dependency on pain medication.

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