It might seem frightening to realize you need knee surgery. It’s certainly a different situation than a typical visit to the doctor and it will have an impact on your health and life for as long as you live. However, being aware of how to prepare for the surgery and what comes after it is done can go a long way toward lessening your anxiety until the big day arrives.
What to Know Before Your Knee Surgery
One of the first things you should do is ask questions about the surgery. Find out whether it will be an inpatient or outpatient surgery. Ask about the type of anesthesia that will be needed. Bring up questions about rehab and physical therapy that will be required. Learn more about whether you should bank blood first and if you are going to need assistive devices to get around your home. Beyond asking these things, write down the answers so you can look over your notes later.
Another great option is to speak with a physical therapist before the surgery to get yourself in the best shape possible. This professional can help you learn exercises to do before the surgery happens. As an example, working your upper body and arms can help you use a walker or crutches once the operation is complete. You may want to lose weight if you are heavy in order to drop the amount of stress on your knees.
It’s also a good idea to get your home in order for when you come home with less mobility. If your bedroom is on an upper floor, you may want a temporary space on the first floor. Safety rails can be added to your bathroom to make bathing safer. All of your valuable belongings should be within reach while you are recovering from the surgery.
Things to Be Aware of After Surgery
You may be surprised to find out what after knee surgery, you can move around quite well and have less pain. Recovering can take some time, though. A physical therapist can often help this time pass quickly. You’ll have assistance learning to walk again, being able to climb stairs, and doing everything else that is a normal part of your existence. In many cases, the therapist will visit your hospital room and start you on exercises immediately.
After your hospital stay, in many cases, you will visit a rehab facility. If this is the case for you, you’ll get physical therapy almost every day for a few weeks. The most significant advantage of this option is that you will be sure to get your exercises done and you will have people at your side to help when you need it. Other individuals will go straight home, and some may choose an outpatient rehab center.
It’s essential to keep in mind that your knee may feel different than before you had surgery. Sometimes, it may pop or click due to the metal and plastic in the knee. Some individuals have trouble with kneeling, but rest assured that bending down will do nothing to harm your new joint.
Most people who have knee surgery and follow the exercises expected of their physical therapist will find their new knee can last for decades. In fact, many people who had knee replacements as much as two decades ago find they are more active than peers of their own age who have not had surgery.
All in all, surgery isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but with the help of your physical therapist, it might be a positive experience when it’s all said and done.