I'm seeking knee replacement info
January 24, 2018 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Today we have our first meeting with a surgeon concerning a partial knee replacement. What questions should we ask him? What info do we need as we go into this?
posted by partner to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many states have tightened the restrictions on narcotics. What is your surgeon's pain management plan?
posted by shiny blue object at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2018

Ask about physical therapy before the surgery. My surgeon ordered it...and it made a huge difference in my recovery time. I was walking with a cane in less than a week after surgery and my new knee bends far better than is common. Surgery was painful, but I'd do it again because the outcome is worth it.

Per narcotics: I quit taking them three days after surgery. They make me puke and the pain was easier to handle than feeling sick.
posted by byjingo! at 10:16 AM on January 24, 2018

Ask how often he does knee replacements. Not hips, knees. You want someone who does the surgery you need at least once a week. I assume he's a joint replacement specialist? Take any pertinent medical records/studies (MRIs, xrays) with you if possible. Ask what rehab will be like, and what level of activity you can expect post-replacement. Ask if he's had any infections that required revisions. Ask if there are non-surgical options, and ask which type of procedure has the best chance of long-term success (may not have the shortest recovery time). Take a brief timeline of the treatment you've received to date. Ask how you know when you need surgery - most good surgeons will have a standard. Plumb the depths of the AAOS website for info. Some other possible quesitons here.

TL;DR: if he's not doing partial knees at least 50x a year, find a surgeon who is. And find out of the anesthesiologist, etc. are covered under your insurance - often they are differently contracted groups.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

How long will it last!
What are the options?
Why not a full knee replacement; what is the difference?
posted by SLC Mom at 11:22 AM on January 24, 2018

How long will recovery take, and what will you be able to do during that time.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:37 AM on January 24, 2018

All the above plus: tell the surgeon what activities you want to do that are currently being hampered by your knees.

A relative of mine (in his early 60s) who is very active along the lines of cross-country skiing, biking, canoeing, and is a total gym rat, who has no knee cartilage left at all, ended up forgoing knee replacements after his surgical consult. He did intensive PT instead and uses OTC pain management and heat/cold when it flares up. It's not perfect, but the surgeon was clear with him that the surgical outcomes were variable enough that in his case it was not going to work any magic.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2018

Ask what plans are in place to prevent blood clots. My wife got a pulmonary embolism after her knee replacement, and it nearly killed her. Her doctor should have given her anti-coagulants and sused "leg queezers" (we don't remember the correct name). We found afterward that other people with that surgery had been given coumadin during and before the surgery, but she didn't get that.
posted by maurreen at 8:01 PM on January 25, 2018

PS, also be watchful for any sign of a blood clot afterward and be very loud about it, because they can be deadly and are often misdiagnosed.
posted by maurreen at 8:03 PM on January 25, 2018

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