The decision to have a major joint replaced is an important one. Usually joint replacement is the recommended treatment when the joint pain has become severe and conservative treatments no longer alleviate it.
Almost any joint in the body can now be replaced with a joint replacement. The most common types of joint replacements are the hip, knee, and shoulder. But our surgeons also perform replacements of the ankle, toe, and cervical spinal disk among others.
You may be a candidate if you have:
- Severe pain that keeps you awake at night
- Pain that keeps you from participating in activities you once enjoyed
- Pain that limits your ability to do your daily activities such as standing or walking or climbing stairs
- Tried other measures such as injections or physical therapy and they no longer help
There are risks involved with the surgery that your doctor will discuss with you. Some risks are increased in some patients with other chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Some known risks are:
- Infection of the surgical site
- Blood clots
- Implant problems or failure, including the need for revision
- Continued pain
- Neurovascular injury
Considering joint replacement?
What Things are Normal After Knee Replacement?
- What Things are Normal After Knee Replacement?
- A small area of numb skin or “pins & needles” feeling next to your incision. This may diminish over time
- Hearing a clicking sound when you walk. This is caused by the artificial clicking parts clicking together
- Bruising around the knee
- Dark red incision line. This may eventually fade to a lighter color
- Stiffness in the knee. This will be minimized by completing all your prescribed therapy and home exercise. If necessary, we may manipulate your knee in the operating room to get more motion.
- If scar tissue forms under the components, you may hear a squeaking or grinding noise when you move. This is not problematic unless it is painful.
- Constipation is a common side effect of narcotic pain medications and a leading cause of hospital readmission after joint replacement. Talk to your doctor about prevention and treatment.
Total Knee Replacement FAQ’s
Q: When will my stitches/staples come out?
A: This will normally be about 2 weeks after surgery. It can be done by a visiting nurse or therapist from home health or in the office if you are at home. Do not attempt to take them out yourself. This can contaminate your incision & cause infection.
Q: When can I shower?
A: You can shower (not bathe) after 3 days. Try to keep the incision covered and dry during your shower
Q: When can I immerse my knee in water? (ex: bath, shower, swimming, etc..)
A: No sooner than 4 weeks after surgery; longer if the incision is not completely closed. Doing otherwise puts you at risk of infection.
Q: How long will I be in the hospital?
A: The length of stay varies from patient to patient but average is 3-4 days.
Q: Will I go to rehabilitation or home after surgery?
A: It depends. There are many factors to consider, such as availability of family to assist you with daily activities, post-op functional status as determined by your therapist, and the safety of your home environment.
Q: When can I drive after knee replacement?
A: If you had surgery on your left knee, you can drive when you feel comfortable as long as you have an automatic transmission. If you had surgery on your right knee you shouldn’t drive for 4 weeks. DO NOT DRIVE WHILE TAKING NARCOTIC PAIN MEDS
Q: When can I return to work?
A: It depends on what kind of work you do. If you sit a lot at work, you may return as early as 2-4 weeks. If your job is more physical, you may require 3 months or maybe longer in some cases.