Knee pain due to severe injury or osteoarthritis is hard to treat, especially in advanced stages. If your knee pain is unbearable and has affected your mobility, a knee replacement might be the best route of treatment. But how do you prepare for such a big surgery, and the recovery that follows?
In Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Brandown Downs of Orthopaedic Specialists gets you on the right path for knee replacement surgery. Dr. Downs and his team provide care every step of the way — from the imaging and physical exam before surgery to post-op care and therapy during your recovery.
Knee replacement surgery is performed when knee pain is severe and the damage in your joint is interfering with your ability to get around. The most common reason to have a knee replacement is due to osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis leads to the destruction of cartilage in your joint, which protects your bones from rubbing. This causes pain and inflammation along with defects in your joint.
During knee replacement surgery, Dr. Downs removes the damaged areas in your knee joint. He takes out any damaged tissues and bones that are causing you pain. Once the area is cleaned up, Dr. Downs measures specific areas in your joint for a prosthetic knee.
The prosthetic acts just like your normal bone and cartilage, and is often made of hard plastics and metal. Dr. Downs places the custom prosthetic in your joint, and then closes up the incisions.
You may need to spend a night or two in the hospital after your knee replacement surgery. This has to do with your overall health and any complications that may arise during surgery.
Preparation for recovery before your procedure is vital to a smooth and seamless transition from the hospital. You’ll need at least a few weeks before surgery to get everything in order for when you get home. First of all, it’s important to secure a driver to get you home from the hospital.
Once you’re home, there are other things that you should have prepared, including:
Decluttering is a huge step in your recovery. You need to make enough room in your house to be able to get around with a walker or other assistive devices. Move furniture, if needed, and get rid of any extra things laying around that you could trip on.
Fall prevention goes along with decluttering your house before surgery. Think of life on one leg for a few months. Move area rugs out of the way along with electrical cords and other tripping hazards. Recovery only happens if you prevent injuries to your post-surgical knee.
A raised toilet seat and non-skid socks are a must while you recover. Handrails and non-slip bath mats are also helpful when you’re in the bathroom during the weeks after surgery.
You’ll need help getting things done for a few weeks after surgery. This includes cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. Make sure your spouse, family members or friends are available to check on you and be your helper for a few weeks while you’re recovering.
Cooking and getting around right after surgery isn’t going to be easy. The best way to plan for this before your procedure is to stock up on non-perishable foods. You can even cook meals and freeze them ahead of time for an easy dinner that only needs reheating.
If your house is more than one story, you’ll want to move your bed to the lower level. Getting up the stairs is going to be difficult for a few weeks, so make sure you have all the essentials close to your bed. You also want to be near a bathroom so you don’t have to travel far on your new knee while it’s healing.
Assistive devices are your best friend after knee replacement surgery. Make sure you have a walker or crutches to help you get around before your procedure. Other assistive devices such as a toilet riser or shower chair are extremely helpful in preventing unnecessary falls post-surgery.
If you’re in need of a knee replacement and are looking for the best care possible, contact Orthopaedic Specialists by calling one of our convenient offices in the Nashville, Tennessee area or booking an appointment online.