One of the most common problems among Americans aged 60 and above is knee-joint pain. As we age, the pain becomes worse, and it often hinders our everyday life, too. This is where a knee-replacement surgery comes in. It has been found that around 2.5 million Americans go through this operation every year which means you have company if you have been contemplating a knee surgery for a while now. Old age can be quite challenging if you are not well-prepared for it and expect it to be very easy. Our health can mess up all our plans if we are not ready for it. Hence, whether you’re planning for one or not, it is good to know a few things about knee-replacement surgery. Here are our two cents:
Find Out If Surgery Is The Best Option For You
The first thing to find out would be if the surgery is the best option for you. It really depends and can differ from one person to another, especially if you have had troubles with your knees for a long time. First, you need to try anti-inflammatory medicines and exercise. Losing weight can help at times, too. If nothing works, knee injections can work in certain cases. When all other options fail, you can opt for surgery, but remember that it should be the last option, not the first.
Find A Good Doctor And Hospital
Look up your health insurance/Medicare papers and find a few doctors and hospitals who you think will be a good fit for you. A good amount of homework can save you a lot of money and ensure that the operation is done seamlessly and with the best outcome. Come to think of it, it is a very expensive surgery. You might end up paying a lot more when you do it at a place near you compared to a place across the town. Usually, the best options are hospitals with a “Center For Excellence”. These places usually have the best facilities and surgeons for the right price. It was found that knee-replacements done at these places cost at least 23% less than other hospitals. They owe it completely to the fact that the post-surgery outcomes are very good and with the least amount of complications.
Thankfully, Medicare has a hospital comparing tool that will help you decide which is the best bet for you. Depending on the kind of surgeons, facilities, and distance, you can find that fits your needs and budget perfectly. If you have Medicare Part A and B, then you can choose any place you like, but you have to make sure that the doctor and facility are within your network; otherwise, you might incur extra costs.
Choose A Healthy Lifestyle
Whether you are having a knee-replacement surgery or not, choosing a healthier lifestyle once you have crossed the threshold of 40 is crucial, especially so if you are going for the surgery. Any kind of operation can be hard on your body, but if you take care of it as early as possible, your recovery time will definitely be faster. However, if you haven’t, now is the time. People who smoke should quit. In a study, it was found that those who smoke take a longer time to heal. In fact, smokers were found to have bigger chances of having an unsuccessful knee-replacement surgery. Those who are overweight should consider losing a few pounds. This can avoid all potential issues that might occur post-surgery.
Be Prepared For Post-surgery Difficulties
Even after having a successful knee-replacement surgery, you need to be prepared for the next stage — recuperation. During this period, you might need crutches or a walker to help you move around. Make sure you can go about your daily routine as smoothly as possible without putting your knee in further trouble. If you are staying alone, be prepared to have someone help you out during this time. If your bedroom is upstairs, you might have to make sleeping arrangements downstairs at least for a few days. Also, make sure that your house has been checked for all possible places that can cause you to fall. And most importantly, take your time to heal!
Getting proper rest and starting exercises or physiotherapy as soon as possible will help you get back on track. While it will be great if you can avoid the surgery altogether, you should always be prepared for any kind of challenges that comes along just in case.