Questions for Doctor: Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery

Reviewed by Kumar Shital, DO on July 19, 2020

If you are thinking about hip or knee replacement surgery, here are 10 important questions to ask your doctor.

Deciding whether to have surgery:

  1. Are there any nonsurgical treatments I can try first? Medicines? Injections? Physical therapy? Crutches or assistive devices?
  2. What can I expect if I choose not to have surgery?
  3. What is the implant made of?
  4. Will my implant set off metal detectors?
  5. How much better can I expect surgery will make me feel? How active will I be able to be?
  6. What problems could I have after surgery?
  7. How many of these surgeries have you done?

Getting ready to have your knee or hip replacement surgery:

  1. How should I prepare my home for after surgery? How much help will I need and for how long?
  2. Do I need to change or stop any of my medications before surgery?
  3. How long do you think my surgery will last?
  4. How many days will I be in the hospital? What will my pain be like? What kind of pain medicine will I get in the hospital and at home?
  5. How long can I expect recovery to take?
  6. How long before I can climb stairs?
  7. How long before I can drive?
  8. What kind of physical therapy will I have to do? Will this be at home or in a facility?
  9. Is there anything I won't be able to do after surgery?
  10. How long should my new joint last?


WebMD Medical Reference



American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Total Joint Replacement: Questions Patients Should Ask Their Surgeon."

Claudette Lajam, MD, orthopedic surgeon, NYU Langone Medical Center; assistant professor of orthopedics, Hospital for Joint Diseases-New York University School of Medicine.

David Lewallen, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Mayo Clinic; professor of orthopedics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

Charles Nelson, MD, chief of joint replacement, Penn Orthopaedics; associate professor of orthopedic surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Common Questions about Total Hip Replacement."

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