When there’s a problem with your knee joint, one way of treatment is through knee surgery. However, knee surgery can be scary, especially when you don’t know what to expect.
Knee surgery is a major procedure, but it can be life-changing for people with severe knee pain and disability. If you are considering knee surgery, it is important to be prepared for what to expect before, during, and after surgery.
What Is Knee Surgery and When is It Necessary?
There are many conditions and injuries that can affect the knee joint. Knee surgery is a surgical procedure to repair or replace a damaged knee joint. It is a common surgery that can be performed for a variety of reasons. This includes relieving pain, improving function, or repairing a damaged knee joint.
If you are considering knee surgery, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after the surgery.
What to Expect Before Knee Surgery
In the weeks leading up to surgery, your knee surgeon will likely order some tests to make sure that surgery is the best option for you. A physical exam will be done to make sure you are healthy enough for the procedure. Additionally, blood and imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI scans will be taken. This gives your knee surgeon a better understanding of the problem with your knee, so they can plan the best course of treatment.
Reminders From Your Knee Surgeon to Prepare for Surgery
Before you go into surgery, here are some ways you can prepare and ensure your procedure and recovery go smoothly.
- Learn more about knee surgery. This can help relieve any fears and worries you may have about the procedure.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can delay wound healing and increase your risk of complications.
- Stop taking certain medications. Some medications can increase your risk of bleeding during surgery. Talk to your doctor about when and which medications you need to stop taking.
- Arrange for transportation. You will not be able to drive after surgery, so it’s best to arrange for transportation for your hospital discharge and follow-up appointments.
- Prepare your home. Make sure your home is safe and comfortable for you after surgery.
What to Expect During Knee Surgery
Knee surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the surgery. Then, your knee surgeon will make an incision in your knee and use a variety of techniques to repair or replace the damaged joint.
The type of knee surgery you need will depend on the specific problem with your knee.
What to Expect After Knee Surgery
Surgery can be taxing on your body. After knee surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room to be closely monitored. You’ll likely feel some pain and experience swelling afterward. Additionally, you might have to wear a bandage on your knee along with a splint or brace.
Once you are stable, you will be taken to your hospital room where you’ll stay for a few days of recovery. During this time, you will begin physical therapy and may also be given medications to help relieve any pain and equipment such as crutches to help you move around.
After being discharged from the hospital, you’ll continue physical therapy at home or at visits with your physical therapist. Make sure to ask your knee surgeon and your care team about what you should or shouldn’t do as you recover from surgery.
Tips From Your Knee Surgeon for a Successful Recovery
A full recovery may take a while. However, most people can return to their normal and active lifestyle within six to twelve months. Most people make a full recovery from knee surgery within six months.
Here are some tips for a successful recovery from knee surgery:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. This includes taking your medication as prescribed and doing your physical therapy exercises.
- Make sure to get enough rest.
- Avoid putting too much weight on your knee.
- Ice your knee to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Elevate your leg to help reduce swelling.
- Eat a healthy diet to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
Finding the Right Knee Surgeon for You
Choosing the right knee surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make about your surgery. With the right knee surgeon, your surgery will run smoothly and successfully. They will be there to guide you before, during, and after the procedure. Be properly prepared for your knee surgery and get ready to return to your active lifestyle with your new knee after recovery!
Having trouble choosing the right knee surgeon for you? Dr. Paul Meli of Paul Meli Orthopedic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. As one of Florida’s most respected surgeons, he provides great medical care and specialty services. Call our orthopedic clinic at (954) 324-7711 and make an appointment to see the right knee surgeon for you! You can also book an appointment through our online request form.