Before I met the specialist I wrote down what I wanted to know about the whole knee replacement procedure. I followed this plan for each of the subsequent meetings/consultations I had with him after the procedure. I shared a room with another gentleman who had broken his ankle badly. He was intrigued with my questions and asked if he could have a copy of them to use with his specialist. That request became the genesis of this particular article. The questions below are to the best of my memory what I asked at each time.
Prior to the operation:
The questions included
The costs to me
When will it happen?
How long will I be in hospital?
Operation-What do I need to know about it?
Recovery in hospital-What do you look for before I go home?
Recovery at home-How do I measure my progress?
Physiotherapist-do I continue to go to him?
Driving-when can I drive?
These questions, now that I have had the operation, seem naïve to me now. But they did serve to help me feel confident with the decision I was making. In hindsight, there may have been other questions I might have asked. Reading through this article may bring to mind other questions the reader might feel they need to ask.
Day 2 in hospital:
The specialist came to visit me late on the morning of day 2. He said the operation was a success. My bones were very strong and the muscle definition around the knee was excellent. So a quick recovery was possible.
The questions, that I asked centred around the following ideas:
Given the success of the operation, how long will I be in hospital?
Success… mentioned above.
Knee muscles… mentioned above.
Quality of bones… mentioned
Swelling-How long before I can expect my leg to be back to normal?
Pressure socks- How long will I wear both for?
How long will the wires and tubes be in and on me?
What are the reasons for exercises?
Please explain the Medication generally to me.
How long will I need the pain medication?
How do I watch for a clot
How long and how often do I need to continue icing my leg and knee for?
Day 5 in hospital:
The specialist came to visit me late on the morning of day 5. My questions went along these lines:
What exercises do I need to continue or start after hospital?
When will I need the dressing on my knee redone?
How long after I leave hospital will I need to redress the knee?
How long will I need to keep the pressure bandage on for?
When can I do away with the crutches?
How do I measure progress?
Will a report be sent to my GP and Physiotherapist?
What medication will I need after going home?
When can I drive?
How long nausea remain?
How long will I need pain medication?
What signs will indicate problems with my knee?
First post hospital consultation (at 5 weeks):
At this consultation, I gave him a report on most of the items below which were of ‘concern/interest’ to me.
Left foot seemed to be in sympathy with right leg
Redness of skin
Clicking knee cap
Long term effects
Most of these items were common to the recovery process. Thus the recovery was proceeding as it should.
Second post hospital consultation (at 16 weeks):
The first thing I notice walking into the consultation room was that the specialist was taking particular notice of my walking. He was happy again to note how well I walked and how much I could now bend the knee. But there were still questions I wanted to ask. Here they are.
How long will the stiffness last?
I had soreness on the inside middle of my thigh. I asked “why?”
I had soreness on the skin of the inside lower calf. Why?
I still had my knee cap clicking occasionally. Would that stop?
Would I always have from time to time a slight pain inside the front of my knee?
What issues might I have for the future?
I have not included any answers to these questions because what is happening to you is an individual thing. You may not need to ask all of these questions. You may, in fact, have different questions.