Medically Reviewed by: Clint McCullough, ATC, OTC
Deciding to have surgery and preparing for a knee replacement can be an intimidating time. There will be multiple questions that arise throughout the process, along with managing your anxiety and planning for a successful recovery. You are not alone, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, nearly 1 million joint replacement surgeries were performed in 2011, making it one of the most common orthopedic procedures. A knee replacement can reduce the pain you feel on an everyday basis, and give you the ability to live a more comfortable, active life. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons also cites that more than 90% of people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.
A Total Knee Replacement can be more accurately described as a “cartilage” replacement. The surgeons will be removing the damaged cartilage from the ends of the femur and tibia and replace it with an artificial joint made of metal and other strong polymers. By removing the damaged cartilage and replacing it with a new joint, this restores function in the joint and provides relief from pain caused by arthritis.
Before heading to the hospital the day of your surgery, you will need to manage your expectations and be aware of the challenges of surgery and recovery. Preparing yourself mentally, psychologically, and having the right tools and practices in place will ensure a more positive outcome. We have prepared some useful topics to help you get ready for your knee replacement surgery.
The days leading up to surgery will be a whirlwind, from checking and double checking your preoperative instructions that were given to you by your surgeon and their team, to ensuring you are pre authorized by your insurance company, and making sure everything is prepared properly at home to ensure a safe and comfortable recovery. It can seem overwhelming as the days get closer to surgery, here are a few items to focus on as your manage your preparations:
Tomorrow is the big day! You’ve spent the past few weeks making specific arrangements and preparing yourself mentally and physically, and are finally taking a big step towards regaining your quality of life. Time to relax and put your trust into the health care team.
Managing your discomfort, controlling your knee pain caused by edema and dealing with the changes your body are going through after surgery will be at the top of your mind once you have transitioned from the hospital back into your home to begin your recovery. A proper recovery is the second half of a successful surgery, and having the correct tools in place to make that happen can put you on the road to a successful recovery.
Investing in your rehab and making it a priority can increase your quality of life in the long run. Using a dedicated tool like the MyComfortMD Knee Buddy can simplify your recovery process, and also hold you accountable to your elevation routine and extension exercises. Recovery can be a long road, and having the correct products accessible and planning accordingly can make the transition to a full recovery that much easier. Heal faster and get back on your feet quickly!