Preparation is a very important phase before going for any kind of surgery. When it comes to a knee replacement surgery, one needs to do some lifestyle changes to be fully prepared for the surgery. This article will give you all the steps and precautions that you need to take before the commencement of the surgery.
A knee replacement surgery is the best treatment option for people who are suffering from an health condition like arthritis, or similar conditions wherein the knee joint becomes extremely damaged to perform its functions. People with damaged knee joints suffer from intense pain and pressure in the knee joints. The knee joint consists of three main sections which includes the medial section, the lateral section and the patella. The knee joint forms from the ends of the thigh bone and the shin bone. These ends also contain the cartilages which act like a cushioning cover preventing the knee joint from getting damaged from shocks and friction that occurs while movements.
A knee replacement surgery are of two types – partial knee replacement surgery and total knee replacement surgery. Which means that the surgery can either replace a part of the knee joint or replace it totally with artificial prosthesis. Your doctor will advice you to go for a surgery only if your knee joint has been damaged to such an extent that non-surgical treatments are of no use.
Preparing for a Knee Replacement Surgery
Planning for a knee replacement surgery involves some simple and important steps that you must take before going under the knife. You must consult with your doctor and discuss each and every minute detail that should be a cause of concern for the surgical procedure. This includes a detailed study of your health condition and family history, the medications that you are consuming, the lifestyle you are following, the severity of the knee joint damage and so on. Mentioned below are some of the main key areas wherein you will have to pay some attention before you prepare for a total knee replacement surgery or a partial knee replacement surgery.
Tests and Examinations
Prior to the actual surgery, you will have to visit the hospital again and again to conduct various tests and examinations which will help the doctors get a green signal to go forward with the knee replacement surgery with minimal risk factors. These tests include blood and urine tests, EKG tests for the heart assessment, Chest X-rays to have an idea about your respiratory system and a through examination of your knee joint regarding the range of motion, depending on which the artificial prosthesis would be made.
Medications and Drugs
There are certain drugs and medications which can actually prove to a cause of concern if consumed before the surgery. Medications like aspirin or other medications containing aspirin should ideally be discontinued at least 2 weeks before the commencement of the surgery. You must note down all the medications and drugs that you are consuming and consult with your doctor about the same in detail.
Well, many a time, your doctor would advice you to donate your own blood just in case to fulfill the need of blood transfusion during the surgery. If at all you are required to donate the blood, your doctor will ask you to consume iron tablets so that the process can be continued until the day of surgery.
Diet and Food
If you are consuming any sort of dietary supplement, then you must inform your doctor about the same as you may need to stop that. Your doctor may also advice you in terms of your diet. Nevertheless, you would most likely be instructed to not consume anything from 12 AM on the day of the surgery. So make sure that you skip the ‘eating after midnight’ on the day prior to the surgery.
Now you would definitely need anesthesia before your surgery. Before the surgery, your anesthesiologist will definitely consult with you in regards to what kind of anesthesia would you want. There are two types of anesthesia that can be chosen from. You can either go for a general anesthesia; wherein you would be absolutely unconscious during the entire procedure, or you can go for a spinal anesthesia; wherein only your legs will be absolutely numb and you won’t feel anything at all.
When speaking of lifestyle changes, you would be asked to quit habits like smoking and drinking at least 48 hours prior to the surgery as they can contribute in changing the pattern of the blood flow which can cause complications in the surgery. You would also be advised to get in shape as being overweight can add additional pressure on the knee joint. Apart from that you must also get a dental check up done as dental issues are associated with infections after the surgery.
Prepare Beforehand for the After…
Considering the fact that you are going for a knee replacement surgery, you must be aware that it will take sometime for you to recover from the surgery. This means that you would have to prepare beforehand for the resources that will help you do your daily activities with comparative ease. You would need to install some helpful resources like handrails, footstools, toilet seats riser with arms, crutches etc so that you can do things independently. If you stay alone, you can check with your doctor if you can get a care taker after the surgery.
Recovery from a knee replacement surgery takes quite some time. Therefore, instead of arranging for things afterwards, it’s better to prepare beforehand. Your physical therapist will also advise you many exercises to prepare for a knee replacement surgery to retain the range of motion and the strength and stability of the knee. Nevertheless, your doctor is the best person to tell you how you should prepare depending upon your individual case.