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Knee Replacements: Dr. Klean Answers Frequently Asked Questions

From Kevin Klean, Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon at Crossing Rivers Health

Dr. Kevin Klean, Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien

As an Orthopedic Surgeon here at Crossing Rivers Health, I provide all aspects of orthopedic care and am fellowship-trained in orthopedic sports medicine. I perform total joint replacements; minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip, and knee; complex knee surgery; cartilage procedures; and treat athletic injuries affecting patients ranging from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete.

When working with patients, my goal is to help them understand their condition and treatment, so we can work together to make informed decisions based on their lifestyle and personal goals. I want to make sure my patients are actively involved in their care. I deeply care about my patients and will do everything I can to improve their quality of life.

Today, I am going to share with you frequently asked questions in regards to knee replacement procedures. I will say that most patients, after the surgery and recovery, wish that they would have had the surgery sooner. I don't blame patients for that at all. It is a big surgery, there's a lot involved, and the unknown can be intimidating. The good news is that with a knee replacement, we know that we have taken care of the problem that was causing that significant pain.

Knee replacement frequently asked questions

Q: When is the right time for a knee replacement?

A: I am never going to tell you when the right time is for you to have surgery; you are going to tell me. When your quality of life is significantly affected, when you can’t do things you enjoy doing, and we can no longer adequately control your pain and symptoms - that is usually the right time. I’ll provide you with all the information regarding your condition. We’ll go over the x-rays and imaging studies together and talk about your goals and lifestyle. We will discuss the best option moving forward and make that decision collectively as a team. It’s about what is best for you and how we can get you back to what you enjoy doing.

Q: What can I expect during the recovery process?

A: To assist in the recovery process, I often recommend physical therapy both before and after surgery. When patients begin experiencing a high level of pain and start to have trouble walking, their body favors or compensates for that area of pain, which leads to stress on other areas of the body and creates weakness around the joint. The stronger we make those muscles before surgery, the more quickly the rehab and recovery will be. After joint replacement surgery, the goal is to be walking the same day of surgery. Throughout your stay at the hospital, we’ll get you up and moving, working with a physical therapist to get you on the course of post-operative recovery. Once you are ready, you’ll begin outpatient therapy for about two to three months to make sure that we are appropriately rehabbing that joint so that you can get back to those activities that you enjoy.

Q: How will my pain be managed during and after the procedure?

A: With joint replacements, we administer medications before surgery to help decrease pain and inflammation after surgery. After surgery, we very judiciously use pain medications, while ensuring that we’re controlling the pain adequately. We all work together - our anesthesiologists, our nurses, and myself - to make sure that your pain is well-controlled.

If you are experiencing pain, I want to help improve your quality of life. Make an appointment to see me. Let's discuss what you're experiencing, review your X-rays and medical imaging reports, and work as a team to make informed decisions based on your lifestyle and personal goals. Contact us today at 608.357.2525. Our registration team will work with you to schedule appointments and obtain primary care referrals, if needed, to ensure that appointments will be covered by insurance.

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