If you are experiencing moderate to severe knee arthritis and you’ve tried nonsurgical solutions such as physical therapy and medications – but they’re providing relief – it may be time to consider knee surgery. This can be a big decision so you should be prepared to discuss it with your New Orleans knee surgeon.
Following are eight questions that you should be sure to ask.
- What type of knee surgery would be best for me? There are several surgical options for knee arthritis, depending on the extent of the condition, your age and your general physical condition, among other factors. Options include:
• Total knee replacement for knee arthritis;
• Partial knee replacement;
• Knee osteotomy surgery;
• Knee arthroscopy;
• Cartilage repair and restoration.
- What results should I expect from this surgery? What are the usual outcomes for someone in my situation? The good news is that knee surgery is generally a safe surgery with good outcomes. In fact, 90% of people who have a total knee replacement have successful procedures, resulting in less pain and better mobility. But it’s important that you have correct expectations about what the surgery can accomplish and what effort you’ll need to put into your recovery so be sure to discuss this with your New Orleans knee surgeon.
- What are possible complications and how likely are they? Most complication rates for knee surgery are low, but they can occur. These can include blood clots, infection, or damage to the knee or surrounding tissue. Ask or do research to find out the complication rates for your surgeon or for the health care facility in general. Keep in mind that as a general rule, the more experience your knee surgeon in New Orleans has with that particular procedure, the better the odds for a good outcome.
- Can I do anything to increase the odds of a successful surgery? Sometimes, there are things you can do before the surgery to increase the chances for a good outcome. These can include doing exercises to strengthen the muscles that support and surround the knee, losing excess weight or quitting smoking.
- Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? What can be done to relieve it? Your level of pain after surgery will depend on the type of surgery you’re having. You’ll be given pain medications to control pain and swelling both while in the hospital and after discharge, but which ones and for how long will vary based on your unique situation.
- Do I need to stop taking my medications before surgery? In addition to your arthritis medications, ask your New Orleans knee surgeon whether you need to stop medications for any other health conditions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements.
- How long will partial and full recovery take? As mentioned above, you should understand ahead of time what’s expected of you in order to recover properly. Plan on doing exercises to strengthen your knee, both with a physical therapist and at home on your own. Also ask about what sort of assistance you’ll need post-surgery to move around (i.e. walker, crutches, another person at home) and for how long.
- How should I prepare for being at home? To help you get around safely after surgery, you may need to rearrange furniture, add railings, or use some assistance equipment, such as a shower chair or toilet seat lift. Ask how long you’ll need someone to provide transportation or help you around the house, if you live alone.
Wondering if you might be a candidate for knee replacement surgery? Have more questions or concerns? Contact your New Orleans knee surgeon, Dr. Richard Meyer, to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your goals and options for treatment. You don’t have to live in pain – call us today!
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