Story by: Sara Thompson on May 21, 2021
Preparing for knee replacement surgery may feel intimidating. Did you know that every year, more than half a million people have knee replacement surgery? Your doctor’s office will give you a booklet and more detailed information, but here are some things to know and do before your procedure.
The knee is the largest joint in your body, made up of bones, cartilage and ligaments. When the cartilage starts wearing away, the knee becomes stiff and painful. This is called arthritis. Eventually, bone starts rubbing against bone, causing even more pain and loss of movement.
Knee replacement surgery replaces the painful joint with a mechanical one. During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will make an incision on the top of your knee. The ends of the bones are shaped and trimmed, then replaced with metal and plastic pieces. A plastic button may be placed on the back of the kneecap if the cartilage is worn out there. The new knee comes in different sizes. Your surgeon will decide which size is the best fit for you.
The incision will be closed with staples, stitches and/or glue. During your recovery process, your pain should be decreased and your knee function should improve. Your surgeon will do the easy part; it’s up to you to do the rest — physical therapy and following your surgeon’s instructions.
This could be a spouse, family member, friend or neighbor. The coach is someone who can help you. Your coach will:
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When you begin to have pain, be sure to tell your nurse. Don’t wait until the pain worsens, because it will take a little time for the medication to begin to work. Do not attempt to walk without assistance. Call a nurse if you need to get up. A therapist or nurse may visit you and get you up and moving. The sooner you start moving, the better off you will be!
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We also offer online seminars to help you understand what will happen before, during and after surgery. Sign up here.
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