Frequently Asked Questions after having a Total Joint Replacement

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Why did you use staples to close my incision?

Stitching with sutures or staples are cosmetically equivalent, and the choice of   staples tends to allow for rapid skin closure with minimal wound inflammation, and are easier to remove than stitches.

Why don’t you use skin glue to close my incision

While surgical &super glue& can be used to close surgical incisions, Staples provide a stronger closure for more mobile surgical sites required for post operative rehabilitation.

Will I set off the metal detector at the airport?

More than likely, and TSA won’t accept a card or Surgeon’s letter, so be prepared for a secondary inspection.

Why Is The Outside Of My Knee Numb After Knee Replacement Surgery?

The lateral side of the knee is numb initially after surgery because the skin nerves travel from the inner (medial) side of the knee to the outer (lateral) side. They are cut when we make the incision and the sensation may return in first year or may remain numb.

How Much Does The Prosthesis Weigh?

The prosthesis generally weighs less than a pound and we also remove some bone so it comes out pretty even.

After My Hip Replacement, My Foot On That Side Is Swollen. Why?

The body’s mechanism for pumping fluid out of the legs, is the the leg muscles. Once you are putting full weight on your operative leg, your swelling should resolve

Is it normal for my knee to feel warm?

Yes,for up to about 9-12 months. The warmth comes from your body’s healing, increased blood flow and to the surgery itself. One of the best gauges you’ll have for knowing when the warmth should go away is when the scar completely fades to the color of your skin.

Can I kneel?

The reason we don’t want you to kneel on your kneecap is because during surgery, we thin the kneecap. Therefore, theoretically, the thinned kneecap is weaker than the original. Also, when kneeling a great deal of stress is put on the polyethylene cap that we’ve placed inside your knee. If you must kneel, such as to pray or perform a particular aspect of your job, we ask that you kneel on the upper part of the shinbone. You can find the area for safe kneeling by feeling your kneecap and moving your hand towards your ankle. You’ll feel a knot on your leg where the tendon attaches. That’s where we want you to put the pressure when you kneel.

Is popping/clicking in the knee normal?

We prefer that the knee be completely quiet, but popping is not uncommon. The popping is caused by scarring in the knee joint as a result of the surgery. Most of the time popping will resolve at about the same time the warmth resolves. However don’t be alarmed if you have some occasional pops for the remainder of the knee’s life. 

How long will the scar be red?

Some people lose the redness by 3 months and other people take 15 months. As long as the scar is red, remember that you’re still healing. 

-Ron Spruill, PA-C

When he’s not assisting Dr. Salvagno in the OR or taking out staples at CJS, you can find Ron working at Urgent Care.  In his spare time, you might be lucky enough to catch him moonlighting as Ronnie Ray, a very talented blues musician.

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