More than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed every year in the United States. With statistics that high, it is important that you are well educated before beginning a procedure. Below we have five answers to some of the most commonly asked knee surgery questions.
What does a knee surgery procedure entail and how long will it take?
Your procedure will begin with receiving a nerve block in the holding area. After that you will be wheeled into the operating room where you will be sedated, and the surgeon will make an incision on your knee. The size of the incision will depend on what type of knee surgery you are receiving. Incision sizes can range from 6 inches for a standard procedure to 4 inches for a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon will cut away all the damaged cartilage and bone and replace it with metal or plastic components which will mimic your natural connective barrier. You can expect to be under for about one hour.
Is anesthesia dangerous?
There will always be a small amount of risk associated with undergoing any surgery. However, there are extremely low rates of mortality and complications related to the use of general anesthesia in the hospital overnight. Having an upset stomach is typical post-surgery.
Will I have a lot of pain post operation?
You will have minimal discomfort after surgery and should not have major pain. You will be administered pain medications both in the hospital and after discharge to help combat any feelings of discomfort. It will help to strengthen the muscles around the knee before surgery in order to set yourself up for the quickest recovery possible.
When will I be able to engage in normal activities again?
Your recovery time will depend on your physical shape going into the operation as well as what operation you received. Most people can resume some daily activities such as bathing and walking immediately after surgery. Your physical therapist will give you more specific guidelines as you progress through your recovery.
A knee replacement surgery is a big decision and the more questions you have to discuss with your doctor before the operation, the better. We hope that these five questions can help guide you on your path towards greater healing, mobility, and health. For more information on knee recovery timelines, please contact our office.