Knee pain is a common problem that has various causes. For example, you may experience sudden knee pain after an injury, or the pain may develop gradually due to arthritis. Regardless of the reason, knee pain can affect your overall productivity since it limits you from engaging in physical activities, including walking. Most of the time, knee pain improves with conservative treatment, including medications. However, your provider may recommend surgery if you have moderate to severe knee pain that doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment. Thanks to Falls pediatric care, children can also benefit from knee surgery. If you or your child has been scheduled for knee surgery, below are questions to ask your surgeon.
What type of surgery do I need?
There are various types of knee surgery, including knee arthroscopy, cartilage repair and restoration, knee osteotomy surgery, partial knee replacement, and total knee replacement. The procedure your surgeon recommends depends on different factors, such as your age, the extent of knee damage, and your overall health condition. Surgeons often recommend total knee replacement since it has the highest success rate.
What is the typical outcome?
Before undergoing surgery, it is essential that you have accurate expectations about what the procedure can accomplish. For example, depending on the reason for surgery, your pain could reduce or entirely go away after the procedure. You also want to know whether you will regain full or partial knee function and if you can resume certain activities and sports.
What are the possible risks and complications?
All surgical procedures carry risks, and knee surgery is no exception. Understanding the potential risks and complications is not meant to scare you but help you make an informed decision. Although complication rates for knee surgery are low, it is still essential to discuss with your surgeon the risk of infection, blood clots, and damage to surrounding tissue. You can also find your surgeon’s or health care facility’s complication rates.
As a basic rule, the more experienced your surgeon is with a particular procedure, the better the odds for a good outcome. You are also more likely to have better results when you choose a health facility that performs high-volume joint replacement procedures.
How much pain will I experience after surgery?
Everyone associates surgery with pain, so it is normal for anyone to want to know how painful it can get. Knowing the pain intensity to expect can help ease your anxiety during the first few days after surgery when discomfort levels are likely to peak. Your surgical team will tell you the medications to take to alleviate pain and swelling. The medicines you require and how long to take depend on your surgery and unique health needs.
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery timelines vary depending on your pre-surgery health and fitness and your surgery. For example, a minimally invasive procedure like arthroscopic knee surgery requires about six to eight weeks before a person is fully healed. On the other hand, if you have had a total knee replacement, full recovery takes longer, but you may resume your daily routine at six to eight weeks.
If you are scheduled for knee surgery, visit your specialist at Mitchell Hip and Knee to discuss these and other questions you may have.