Guide to Post Knee Surgery After 60

When your orthopedic doctor tells you that knee surgery is in your future, you are likely to have many questions. Older patients may wonder how their experience may differ from that of a younger person, and this is a very valid question with some significant answers.

Full Disclosure

Knee surgery patients over 60 are more likely to have other medical issues in addition to their orthopedic troubles. Diabetes, poor circulation, and blood disorders may cause complications after surgery, and certain medications like steroids may affect how quickly you heal or compromise your immunity. Poor wound healing can extend the time needed for recovery and increase your risk of infection. This can lead to a complicated situation if the knee joint itself becomes infected, and could require additional surgery and extensive rehabilitation to correct. It is absolutely imperative that you let your orthopedic surgeon know about every medication you are taking to avoid a potentially dangerous problem.

Post Surgical Health Issues

Your orthopedic doctor will consider your overall health before scheduling your knee surgery. Surgery and its recovery can be stressful events in a person’s life, and even for a healthy person there may be risk of serious health conditions surrounding the surgery. Some research has shown a link between hip and knee surgery and post surgical heart attacks. Further research is needed to determine whether the stress of the procedure or the inactivity during the healing process is contributing to this link, but in the meantime advise your surgeon beforehand of any health condition you have, no matter how minor. Educate yourself on the signs of cardiac arrest, and be sure to talk to a medical provider if you start to experience any of the associated symptoms.

Planning for Help

Independence is typically a great thing, but when recovering from surgery you will want to have someone around to help you. Make arrangements for someone to assist you with the cooking, housework, and surgical aftercare, plus to shuttle you to and from your surgeon and physical therapist appointments after surgery. Planning for these needs before surgery will result in much less stress after surgery, which will allow you to relax and heal.

Knee surgery after 60 can be a smooth process, but it is very important that you and your orthopedic surgeon communicate and create a post-recovery plan in advance so that you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

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