Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the world. Around 600,000 are done in the US alone each year!
If you’re considering a knee replacement, you’ve probably heard all sorts of things from family and friends about it. Yet a lot of information shared about knee replacements isn’t accurate.
Some of it may have been based on the way things used to be. But with rapidly changing tech, isn’t the way things are any longer.
Some of it may be based on situations that were very different from yours.
And, let’s face it, as much as we love them, some of what family and friends may tell us is just totally bogus!!
In any case, you’re wondering what’s real and what’s not, you’re in the right place. We’re going to look at common myths about knee replacements and look at what’s true and what isn’t. So let’s dive in and look at the truth about the common knee replacement myths…
Knee Replacement Myth #1: It’s too soon to get knee replacement
If someone ever tells you to put off your knee replacement as long as possible, don’t believe them. (Unless that person is a knee replacement expert.) You don’t have to delay it until you find it difficult, or almost impossible, to go about your daily routine.
Also, the right time for a knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Each and every one of us has a different perception of pain and disability. And how you personally deal with pain and disability should absolutely be a factor in determining whether to get knee replacement surgery or put it off a bit longer.
Knee Replacement Myth #2: You will spend a long time in bed after the surgery
Not necessarily. There are new technologies nowadays that help folks recovery quite quickly. In fact, some of these rapid recovery protocols allow patients to walk on the same day of the surgery. Thank goodness for technology, right?!
Knee Replacement Myth #3: You won’t be able to bend your knee after the surgery
This one is totally false. Again, thanks to technology, most patients can now bend their knee fully after the surgery. This is thanks to the new implants which allow for a normal range of movements at the knee joint.
Knee Replacement Myth #4: You need bending machines to speed recovery
This one differs from patient to patient.
In the 1990s, surgeons used a machined called the CPM or the continuous passive motion. These machines were placed in the bed of a patient who recently had a knee replacement. It allowed the patient to gradually bend their knee up and down.
The early results of the bending machines were encouraging. However, it was later revealed that within 4 weeks of surgery, there never was any statistical difference between people who used the CPM machines and patients who did not.
Knee Replacement Myth #5: Knee implants are foreign bodies and they will get rejected.
Another myth that is totally false. The truth is, the artificial knee joints used these days are made of a special metal. This metal is doesn’t cause any issues in our bodies. In fact, this metal can stay in our knees forever without causing any harm or side effects.
Knee Replacement Myth #6: Going to inpatient rehab is better
For this one, let’s just say the times are a changing. A few years back inpatient rehab may have been the way to go. But things are different now. These days, it’s common for patients to return home within a few days of surgery. Some can even return home the same day as their surgery. And now most surgeons actually prefer home and outpatient rehab.
Knee Replacement Myth #7: You should donate blood before the surgery
Actually, it’s not recommended to donate your own blood before the surgery. Donating blood before the knee replacement surgery puts you at risk of being anemic. And that makes it likely you’ll be a good candidate for blood transfusion.
Knee Replacement Myth #8: Having surgery for both knees at the same time is dangerous
Actually, it’s the other way around on this one! Contrary to the myths, it’s better to do both knees in one go. It requires less recovery time. You only have to visit the hospital once. And it saves you a lot on hospital costs.
Knee Replacement Myth #9: You won’t be able to fly for 3 months after surgery
Check with your doctor, but yes you can fly. There are no studies that show air travel increases the chance of a blood clot in people who have had a knee replacement surgery recently. However, there is one study where patients who flew home from surgery days after their procedure were examined. The study found that there was no difference in the chance of blood clot at all.
So there you have it. 9 myths about knee replacements debunked. If you are looking at a knee replacement and have questions about the costs involved, check out this article about knee replacement costs.