Questions for Doctor: Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery

If you are thinking about hip or knee replacement surgery, here are 10 important questions to ask your doctor.

Deciding whether to have surgery:

  1. Are there any nonsurgical treatments I can try first? Medicines? Injections? Physical therapy? Crutches or assistive devices?
  2. What can I expect if I choose not to have surgery?
  3. What is the implant made of?
  4. Will my implant set off metal detectors?
  5. How much better can I expect surgery will make me feel? How active will I be able to be?
  6. What problems could I have after surgery?
  7. How many of these surgeries have you done?

Getting ready to have your knee or hip replacement surgery:

  1. How should I prepare my home for after surgery? How much help will I need and for how long?
  2. Do I need to change or stop any of my medications before surgery?
  3. How long do you think my surgery will last?
  4. How many days will I be in the hospital? What will my pain be like? What kind of pain medicine will I get in the hospital and at home?
  5. How long can I expect recovery to take?
  6. How long before I can climb stairs?
  7. How long before I can drive?
  8. What kind of physical therapy will I have to do? Will this be at home or in a facility?
  9. Is there anything I won't be able to do after surgery?
  10. How long should my new joint last?

Sources

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Total Joint Replacement: Questions Patients Should Ask Their Surgeon."
  2. Claudette Lajam, MD, orthopedic surgeon, NYU Langone Medical Center; assistant professor of orthopedics, Hospital for Joint Diseases-New York University School of Medicine.
  3. David Lewallen, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Mayo Clinic; professor of orthopedics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
  4. Charles Nelson, MD, chief of joint replacement, Penn Orthopaedics; associate professor of orthopedic surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
  5. University of Maryland Medical Center: “Common Questions about Total Hip Replacement."

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