For some patients suffering from knee pain, non-surgical treatments may not provide long-term relief. In these cases, or in the case of a torn ligament or other knee injury, surgery is often recommended. It’s important to be informed about the surgery your physician recommends, particularly if it is an elective surgery. There are risks to any procedure, but asking the right questions can help you clearly understand those risks.
Has your doctor recommended knee surgery to treat an injury or chronic knee pain? If so, be sure to discuss these questions with your doctor prior to surgery.
1. What surgical procedure do is recommended, and what steps are involved?
2. Are there different methods of performing this procedure? If so, ask why your surgeon prefers one over another.
3. Why is this procedure recommended for me? Is it my only option? What alternatives are available?
4. What is the doctor’s experience performing this procedure?
5. What happens if I do not have the procedure?
6. What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will they last?
7. What are the risks and potential complications of the procedure?
8. What tests or medical evaluations will be required before surgery?
9. What kind of anesthesia will be used? What are the side effects or risks of the anesthesia?
10. What pain control measures will I be given?
11. Will I have to stay overnight? Will I need assistance at home after surgery?
12. What should I expect in terms of pain and mobility limitations after surgery?
13. How long is the expected recovery from this procedure? When can I return to daily activities?
14. Is there a possibility that additional surgeries will be necessary?
15. Will I need physical therapy? If so, what kind?
16. What results should I expect in six months? One year? Five years?
Prior to having an elective surgery, it’s important to discuss these and any other questions you may have with your doctor. A well-informed patient is generally more satisfied with the outcome of a procedure.