Imagine this: You suffer a knee injury on the job, and assume that you'll be back on your feet within a couple days. However, after receiving a medical diagnosis, you learn that you're a candidate for knee replacement surgery.
While you're not required to proceed with knee replacement surgery, your doctor may suggest that it's the best way to eliminate your pain and discomfort, while providing you with a healthier outlook on the future.
You won't be alone when you get that knee replaced
Knee replacement surgery is among the most common bone surgeries in the United States. While it may be common, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
Here are some of the many reasons why knee replacement surgery may be necessary:
- You often experience swelling in your knee
- You have severe pain, accompanied by stiffness, thus making it difficult to walk
- Physical therapy is not doing anything to help
With these symptoms holding you back, it may be time to have a serious conversation with your doctor about a knee replacement surgery. If you decide to proceed, the preparation process typically includes the following:
- A physical exam, including an X-ray to get a closer look at the damaged knee
- Office exam to better understand how much muscle support you have
- Blood tests
- Review of any medications you're taking
A knee replacement surgery typically lasts anywhere from one to two hours. After surgery, your doctor will want you on your feet within 24 hours. This sounds fast, but it's important to making a fast and full recovery.
Within the first month after your surgery, you'll notice yourself gaining strength and flexibility in your knee. You may work closely with a physical therapist to ensure you're doing everything you can to strengthen your new knee and prevent future injury.
If you suffered an on-the-job injury which resulted in your need for knee replacement surgery, discuss your situation with your supervisor and HR department. You have the right to file a workers' compensation claim, even if your employer threatens to fight back.
If your original claim is denied for any reason, learn why and then take steps to file an appeal. You should do whatever you can to obtain benefits, as you'll rely on this compensation to remain financially stable as you recover.