Excited to help you along the process of your upcoming knee replacement! This can be a life-changing procedure. It’s a part of your body that you’re stuck using every day and when the bones break down and when arthritis sets in it could really limit you. With a knee replacement what we’re doing is we’re taking metal and plastic and we’re replacing the worn out surfaces of the thigh bone and the shin bone and what we do with that is one incision down the front of the knee. I put a piece of plastic a little protector on the underside of the kneecap and every surface of cartilage and all the meniscus gets taken out. We also remove the ACL. What we do at that point is we measure and resurface all of the bone so that you have a new functional and properly gliding knee replacement.
We get you up right away. You’re going to take your first few steps really once you get back to the safety of your room. Anticipate being with us for two nights. If you feel fantastic and want to leave after one night, we let you go but we want you to be comfortable and happy and ready to take care of yourself. You really ought to have someone with you once you get home to make sure that you’re able to get up and around and have assistance with some meals and some transfers, but overall we’re going to get you up on your feet right away. To tell you about potential risks of surgery, there’s potential risks of anesthesia, there’s potential risks of blood clots, infections, of stiffness in the knee. One of the hardest things we deal with after a knee replacement is making sure we get all your motion back. We’ve got a goal of three months. In three months if we are still lacking range of motion there may be another procedure I’ll have to talk with you about, but overall if we really commit to the physical therapy and if you push hard and work hard we can avoid that complication as well.
The next several months after your knee surgery are going to be filled with physical therapy. You’re going to see me two or three weeks afterwards. There’s a line of staples in front of the knee, which help keep the knee closed while we start that aggressive range of motion and we take those out at that appointment. Otherwise, the home health nurse will remove them for you. We give you a blood thinner after surgery, which you need to take until it’s gone. I want you to be on that to prevent blood clots because unfortunately they can happen after knee surgery. Otherwise, we’ll keep a close eye on you, work through any potential problems you may have, and I’m always here to answer questions. Look forward to helping you with your new knee.