10 Questions to Ask Before Your Joint Replacement Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons perform more than 1 million total joint replacements in the United States each year — a number predicted to quadruple by 2030. Are you considering a joint replacement?
If you are one of many people contemplating the surgery, even if you’re still young, gathering information can help you understand how best to prepare for surgery and recovery.
Here are 10 questions to ask your orthopedic surgeon before you undergo joint replacement surgery, as well as some tips to make the recovery process a smooth one.
- What kind of experience do you have with this specific surgery?
- Will the surgery/recovery be painful, and how will my pain be managed?
- What are the risks associated with this type of surgery?
- What do I need to do to prepare for surgery?
- Do I need to worry about stopping any of my medications before surgery?
- How will my chronic conditions be managed after surgery?
- Will I need to use a walker or cane to get around, and for how long?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- When will I be able to return to the activities I love?
- How long will my implant last?
After discussing these and any other questions you may have with your surgeon, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need before undergoing joint replacement.
Getting Ready for Joint Replacement Surgery
Once you’ve worked out the details of your joint replacement with your surgeon, the next step is to set up a recovery space at home. For lower extremity surgeries, you’ll likely use a walker for a week or two in most cases, so you’ll want to make sure that couches, chairs, rugs and other obstacles are arranged safely so they won’t interfere with your movement or cause you to fall.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your friends and family about how they can help you recover after surgery. The vast majority of people who have joint replacement surgery go home the same day, so you’ll want to have a caregiver stay with you for the first few days. Beyond that, you’ll need someone to drive you to follow-up appointments and physical therapy, so reaching out to your support network ahead of time may help everyone figure out how and when they can pitch in.
As far as getting physically prepared right before surgery, you’ll be given a list of instructions about when to start fasting, which medications to stop and other details before surgery. It’s never too late to ask questions if you’re not sure about something, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your surgeon’s office with any concerns.
Recovery and Return to Activities
Recovery varies from person to person, depending on factors such as how healthy the person is before surgery. In general, most patients, whether they’ve had a hip or knee replacement, are walking around without needing a cane or walker by six weeks after surgery.
After about three months spent focusing on strengthening, most people can get back to doing what they love, including golfing, gardening and playing tennis. The body still is healing for upwards of a year, however, so people can expect to continue gaining function and mobility over the next six months.
Starting the Joint Replacement Process
Curious about joint replacement but not sure if you’re a good candidate? Getting the answers to all your questions is as easy as setting up a consultation to see if you should get a joint replacement even while young. Soon, you could be joining the millions of people living full and active lives after joint replacement surgery.
Visit the Experts at JIS Orthopedics in Columbus & New Albany, OH
If you’re considering a joint replacement, come see the experts! Schedule a consultation with a joint replacement surgeon at JIS Orthopedics today to live without limits!