Knee Replacement surgery & recovery: how to prepare and what to expect
Facts About Knee Joint Replacement: Risks, Recovery, Complications and What You Can Do To Heal Faster From Your Knee Surgery.
If your knee pain is prohibiting you from enjoying your desired activity level or even simply walking, kneeling or climbing stairs, you may be a candidate for a knee replacement. Over the last decade, knee replacement surgery has evolved so that the end result allows for greater mobility and a quicker recovery. Ideally, it would be optimum to replace only the damaged portion of the arthritic joint, avoiding the need for a total knee replacement. The results are less pain, shorter surgery and a quicker recovery.
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of the need for knee replacement surgery due to the pain experienced from normal activities such as exercising, walking and sitting. Other causes are rheumatoid arthritis, knee injuries such as fractures and avascular necrosis. If your pain is not easily managed by therapy and medication, it may be time to consult with a knowledgeable surgeon.
How Do You Know If You Require A Require Knee Replacement?
Whatever your reasons for wanting information about knee replacement surgery, you will need a thorough understanding of the complexity of your knee operation and the process of recovering from the surgery.
First, locate a well-regarded orthopedic surgeon to consult with about your symptoms. Ask several people for referrals, especially if you know someone who has had a knee replacement. If you have a physician or health care specialist, they may know who is the best in your area. Recover Quickly From Surgery, the leading guide to preparing for your surgical operation, has a complete list of the leading questions to ask your surgeon regarding the details of having surgery.
Once you choose your orthopedic surgeon, he or she will evaluate your condition by assessing your medical history, your current range of motion, pain levels and the extent of knee joint degeneration through x-rays and imaging technologies. They will then determine if a partial or complete knee replacement is your best option.
The top selling Guide, Recovery Quickly From Surgery, will provide you with a complete list of questions for your potential surgeon. These questions, once answered, will give you the necessary information about your condition, the nature of surgery and what results you can expect from the procedure. If you are able to do so, gather as many details as possible about the surgical procedure. Clinical tests have shown that the better-informed patients are, the faster they heal.
Your surgeon may recommend alternatives to surgery such as maintaining an anti-inflammatory nutritional regime, more exercise, weight loss, medications and injections. Some of these alternatives are discussed in the Guide as a means to enhance results should you elect to get surgery. If they determine that you require surgery, the procedure consists of replacing the damaged joint surfaces with metal and plastic implants. Once full recovery is realized, you will experience an improved range of motion in your knee with little or no pain.
The doctor may show you the appliance that will act as your new knee. While sturdy, this appliance is also subject to wear and tear, so be sure to ask your surgeon about future activities, the length of time your knee replacement should last and the possible future need for a second replacement.
Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery
Recover Quickly From Surgery is the leading Guide to preparing for surgery and optimizing your recovery thereafter, naturally, using clinically researched natural protocols. By adhering to specific dietary and nutritional regimes, and reducing specific inflammatory influences, you can reduce recovery time, and may experience less pain and swelling and scarring.
You will want to enhance your immune system to decrease the possibility of infection. If you have several weeks before your surgery, there are several suggestions on how to do this in the Guide. Once the surgery is complete, your surgeon will examine and monitor your knee, incision via blood work and other means.
Because the surgery usually takes between one and three hours, after patients often note side-effects from the anesthesia. Tips on how to ameliorate these symptoms, reduce pain and swelling are also discussed in Recover Quickly From Surgery.
Planning for proper home care is essential and your surgeon’s office will assist you specific planning to recover at home. To avoid dislocation of the new knee joint, you must avoid crossing your legs, internal or external rotation of the knee joint or bending your knees more than 90 degrees for several months. Avoiding falls is critical and creating a safe environment to reduce this chance is first on the list of preparing to successfully recover from knee surgery.
Other considerations include planning to recover in the hospital and at home safely. The Guide thoroughly assists you in this planning process, as will your surgeon’s office. You may want to modify your home to prevent falls.
Prepare to fast the night before. In addition, it important to not drink alcohol or smoke within 48 hours prior to your surgery. The Guide covers the pre and post optimum diet, known as the Recover Quickly Diet which can accelerate your recovery time.
After Your Knee Operation: What To Expect
You will experience pain after the surgery that will require medication. However, those patients who utilized simple pre-surgical preparations outlined in Recover Quickly From Surgery often reduced the need for long-term pain medication. You will require medication for several weeks after recovery, especially at bedtime and in conjunction with therapy.
Your doctor will also monitor the possibility of blood clots forming in the legs, breaking free and moving into the lungs. Medication, support hose and inflatable leg coverings as well as exercising soon after surgery will all aid in the prevention of blood clots. You will want to monitor pain, swelling, tenderness or redness in the calf and leg.
Once you have had your surgery, you will need to manage your pain with medication and ice, engage in physical therapy, as well as do home exercises to increase range of motion. The physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to increase range of motion as well as strengthen the muscles in the leg. Patients use a walker, crutches or a cane to get around in the first weeks. Resumption of normal activities usually occurs in four to six weeks after surgery. In six to ten weeks, most patients are recovered enough to resume work and some sports.
Pain Control for Your Knee Surgery
We are all afraid of the pain that accompanies a surgical operation. Using paid medication is essentail for days after your surgery. But many of these pain meds are addictive, toxic and cause other side effects. The Guide offers complimentary methods of pain control which are meant to work in tandem with your prescription pain medication. The result is to wean you off your pain meds faster and reduce pain naturally.
There are a number of suggestions offered in the Guide regarding wound care and the prevention of scarring. Several integrative health modalities reduce the size of scars and offer an acceleration of wound healing. Laser treatments can help heal incision areas and reduce scarring.
You will need to discuss your post surgical expectations for activity with your surgeon. Once you can drive and walk some distances, you may seek help from healing professionals who can assist you with reducing scarring. Search the internet for local chiropractors or other dermatologist professionals who treat patients with cold lasers and other modalities that can reduce scarring.
Preparing For Your Hip Surgery Now Can Shorten Your Recovery Time
Clinical Research shows that the more preparation a patient does, the faster the recovery, with less pain. 2. The best thing you can do is start preparing now for your approaching surgery is to educate yourself on the crucial things you can do to reduce your pain, swelling, scarring as well as decrease your risk for infection. Recover Quickly From Surgery is the essential, easy-to-read guide that best prepares your for your operation. Backed by clinical research, if you follow its easy protocols, you may experience less pain and a faster recovery.
Those patients who followed a preparatory regime of weight loss, anti-inflammatory diet, strengthening exercise and proper supplementation recovered quickly with less pain medication and increased range of motion. Although it may take months to completely recover, most patients, now pain free, are very pleased that they had their knee replaced. If you are well educated and well prepared, you too can plan to recover quickly and thoroughly. Let Recover Quickly From Surgery assist you in this process.
What Is A Partial Knee Replacement?
Many who suffer from arthritic knee pain, experience deterioration of only one of the three compartments in the knee. In this situation, you may require a partial replacement instead of a full replacement. When undergoing a partial or Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (UKA ), the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are kept intact.
Pros and Cons of a Partial Knee Replacement
The benefits to a partial knee replacement can be an easier recovery, a smaller incision, an increased range of motion after surgery, less blood loss, less time in the hospital and a decreased risk of infection. The potential risk to a partial knee replacement is a higher rate for needing future knee surgery should the partial replacement not last.
What Is A Total Knee Replacement?
For those who have severe damage or arthritis affecting more than one compartment, your surgeon may recommend a full replacement surgery. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study concluded that a total knee replacement can be very promising, and shows “rapid and substantial improvement in the patient’s pain, functional status, and overall health-related quality of life” in 9 out of 10 patients.”
More than 600,000 people a year undergo the procedure in the United States alone. 1However, it is suggested that revisions can be more complicated than if you had a full knee replacement initially.
If you are in good health, chances are good that your surgery will greatly reduce or eliminate your knee pain and increase your ability to lead a more normal life. If you are a smoker, overweight, have a chronic medical condition, you may need to also see a specialist to evaluate if you are a candidate for knee surgery. In addition to a medical evaluation, you may need blood and urine tests to assess immune system function.
The Knee Replacement Surgery
The complexity of the procedure will depend on the type of knee implant components your surgeon uses. For a Total Knee Replacement, the incision can be up to 6-8 inches long and much smaller if it’s a partial replacement. The rehabilitation process can be much slower for a total replacement as well as more painful. There are always associated risks with any surgery such as blood clots, infection, damage to surrounding nerves/tendons, and numbness. Your goal is to prepare now to reduce the risks of infection by strengthening your immune system, maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet and if possible, get in shape before surgery to the best of your ability. These topics are well discussed in the Guide.
1. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Ortho Info, as cited at http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00389
2. Positive Effect of Patient Education for Hip Surgery: A Randomized Trial; Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research: September 2003 – Volume 414 – Issue – pp 112-120
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