Questions for Doctor: Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery

Medically Reviewed by Michael Roach, MD on August 15, 2022
2 min read

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

I have symptoms, and I think I might need a knee or hip replacement.

  1. Could my symptoms be a sign of osteoarthritis?
  2. What are the steps to get tested to see if I need a knee or hip replacement?
  3. What treatments should I try before getting a joint replacement?
  4. My pain is getting worse. What pain medicine can I take?
  5. What else can I do to ease my symptoms?

My doctor and I have discussed joint replacement, and this is a follow-up visit.

  1. Even though I take medicine, I’m still in pain. Can I safely increase my dose, or should I try a different pain medicine?
  2. What should I do to get ready for surgery?
  3. Should I try to lose weight?
  4. Can the surgery be done robotically?
  5. Would complementary approaches like massage or acupuncture help?
  6. What should I expect after joint replacement surgery?

I am planning on knee or hip replacement, but I’m sick or having problems.

  1. Could my symptoms mean my joint damage is getting worse?
  2. My pain limits what I can do every day. Do I need a different pain reliever?
  3. Will surgery relieve all my pain?
  4. How long after surgery till I can get back to my normal activities?
  5. Is there anything I can do before surgery to speed my recovery?

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?