Questions to ask Your Doctor before Hip and Knee Replacement

If your doctor recommends a hip or knee replacement for you, you should take the time finding out all of the pertinent details about the procedure. Your surgeon will conduct the necessary preoperative evaluation in order to see if you are suitable for the procedure. Dr. Karkare, a renowned fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in performing minimally invasive joint replacements likes to remind his patients that joint replacement is an elective procedure and there is no reason to rush into it. He encourages patients to take their time, do research and discuss their concerns with the surgeon.

It is important to discuss the following with your surgeon before hip or knee replacement surgery:

  1. How long has the doctor been implanting the device? Is he/she fellowship trained?
  2. Why did the surgeon choose a particular prosthesis manufacturer?
  3. Is the device approved by the FDA?
  4. How long will the implant last?
  5. Is there a possibility for breakage of the device that could lead to malfunction?
  6. What’s the size of the incision and where will it be located?
  7. How long will the procedure take?
  8. What surgical approach will the doctor take?
  9. Is there a possibility for any infection or complications?
  10. Are there any risks related to anesthesia?
  11. How long will the recovery period be?
  12. What options are available for pain management after the effects of anesthesia wear off?
  13. When can the patient go back to the usual activities and what are the activities that should be avoided?
  14. Is there a need for follow-up appointments?

Knee and hip replacement is a major surgical procedure but in the right hands, it can turn your life around. For more common questions, see this FAQ.