Total Knee Replacement FAQ
Will my new knee set off metal detectors?
Your new knee is made of metal that may set off a metal detector device in airports and some buildings. Tell the security agent about your knee replacement if the alarm is activated.
How long will I be in the hospital?
You will be in the hospital for 1-2 days. Most of Dr. Puri's patients are discharged home and set up with a home health agency, whereby a nurse will come to your home 2x/week and a physical therapist will come in 4-5x/week. You may be discharged at an earlier time, at which point you will be ready to do outpatient therapy. Some patients who have Medicare may choose to go to a skilled nursing facility, especially if they live alone or have multiple stairs in the home.
How long does surgery take?
A total knee replacement will take approximately 1 hour, depending on the severity of the disease.
When will I be able to drive?
You can drive between 2.5 and 4 weeks or when you are off any narcotics.
Will I need a CPM machine?
The Joint Reconstruction team at NorthShore does not use CPM machines as they have not been shown to increase motion, but have been shown to increase complications.
When do I follow up with Dr. Puri?
You will follow up 3-4 weeks after surgery with Dr. Puri or his Physician Assistant, Marie Albarillo. X-rays will be taken at each visit to check the integrity of the prosthesis. You will then follow up 4 months after surgery, at the 2-year anniversary of surgery, and then 3-5 years after that. If you encounter any problems between your scheduled visits, please call the office.
Can I get my incision wet?
The hospital nursing staff will review wound care with you. Typically, we like to keep the incision dry for the first week or two.
When do the staples come out?
Staples are removed between 12-14 days and can be done by your home health agency nurse. Steri-strips will be applied thereafter to ensure the wound will not open. If sutures are present, please call the office and make an appointment with Dr. Puri.
Can I apply any creams or lotions over my incision?
No. Dr. Puri discourages applications of any lotions or creams, as this may cause irritation or inflammation and may lead to infection.
What if I notice redness or discharge from the wound?
If you notice anything unusual such as increased redness, increased pain or drainage from the wound, please contact Dr. Puri's office right away to be evaluated for a possible infection. If you notice redness, pain and swelling in the calf area, please go to the closest emergency room to be evaluated and have an ultrasound of your lower extremities performed, as this may indicate a clot.
Who can I contact to schedule surgery?
You can contact Marie Albarillo, Dr. Puri's physician assistant or Kim Prado, Dr. Puri's nurse, at (847) 86-ORTHO to schedule surgery.
How long do knee replacements last?
There is no current data showing how long the actual prosthesis lasts. However, 90 percent of patients are doing well at the 20-year mark.
What happens during total knee replacement surgery?
During a total knee replacement, the arthritis portion of the knee joint is removed and replaced with metal parts as well as a plastic portion, that is made of a high polymer polyethylene material. Dr. Puri will use a computer navigation system or a robotic system to help realign the knee.
Does Dr. Puri do minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?
Dr. Puri does practice minimally invasive knee surgery with his Rapid Recovery Protocol. He encourages you to discuss with him the nature of minimally invasive knee surgery along with some of the newer anesthetic techniques developed at Northwestern to help with pain relief, early mobilization and return to function in a timely fashion.
What is arthritis?
The most common cause of chronic knee pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms.
Osteoarthritis usually occurs after the age of 40 and often in an individual with a family history of arthritis. The cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee of the wears away. The bones then rub against one another causing knee pain and stiffness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease in which the synovial membrane becomes thickened and inflamed, producing too much synovial fluid, which over-fills the joint space. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain and stiffness.
Post Traumatic Arthritis can follow a serious knee injury. A knee fracture or severe tears of the knee ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting knee function.
What do I need to do before surgery?
Once you and Dr. Puri have agreed that surgery is the right step for you, there are a few things you need to do before undergoing surgery:
You will need a medical clearance to determine if you are healthy enough to undergo a total knee replacement.
We offer a joint replacement class online and in person. Most of our patients prefer the 40-minute online course for their convenience. Our in-person class takes place at Skokie Hospital in the Abramson Conference Room. Call (847) 933-6762 to reserve a space for the class, which meets at various dates and times.
Depending on your medical conditions, Dr. Puri may request that you see a specialist prior to surgery to ensure that you are in optimal health.