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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
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My 73-year-old mother is going to have a total knee replacement next month. She's already talking about all the things she is going to be able to do after the surgery. What's realistic?

Studies show that patient expectations before joint replacement have an impact on their final outcome. This can work for or against the patient. Some people are just happy to have pain relief. Others are disappointed they can't run a marathon. There's a wide range of expectations and results in between.

There are many factors to consider. First, what was your mother's activity level before her knee became painful enough to need a replacement? How much time has passed from when she was active to now? What is your mother's activity level at this time (just before surgery)? If she's inactive, has she lost overall strength and flexibility? Many surgeons advise the patients who are getting knee replacements to expect pain relief and improved function. They will likely be able to walk, swim, or ride a stationary bike if they are in good health and physically fit.

Activities that put a higher demand on the knee joint are not as easy. This may include running, twisting, dancing, stooping, and squatting. Encourage your mother to ask her doctor what to expect and how soon to expect it after surgery.


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