You may be wondering when is the best time of year to have knee replacement surgery. I had the same question when I was considering TKR.
Choosing the right time of year is important and I’ll share a few suggestions based on my experience. I talked with several friends prior to my knee surgery and the consensus was that the spring and early fall are the best seasons.
You’ll want to wear as little clothing as possible during your recovery because it makes cleaning the wound and moving around easier. Snow and ice, as well as extreme heat, will make it difficult to get outside to exercise and drive to therapy.
If you are still working, you’ll need to consider your work schedule so you can take time off for your surgery and recovery.
Reasons The Time Of Year Matters For TKR
Having your TKR during warm weather (not hot weather) allows you to wear less clothing (shorts, T-Shirt, socks). As you can imagine, it will be tough to change clothes when you’re in pain and layers make it harder.
Sleeping is hard enough in the weeks after surgery, so it’s better if you don’t need warm pajamas and heavy bedding (check out my article on sleeping after knee replacement).
Adjusting The Air Conditioner or Heater
A moderate temperature will make it unnecessary to use the heater or AC while you are recovering in the house. Warm weather also allows you to get outside easier during your recovery for walks and trips to the therapist.
You will have no worries about snow and ice.
If you are a senior citizen like me, you may have noticed that it takes longer to loosen up and get going in cold weather. When the weather is warm inside and outside it is much easier for some of us older folks to engage in activity including in-house therapy 3 times a day.
You also may be experiencing some degree of arthritis in your knee or other joints that causes discomfort in cold weather. If you are a younger person contemplating TKR, this may not be a concern for you.
Once your in-home therapy is complete you will be getting into a vehicle to go to your offsite therapy. Ice and snow can make getting in and out of the car difficult not to mention driving in the same conditions.
Bundling up with multiple layers of clothing and then having to remove clothing when you arrive at your therapy can be a pain.
If you are still working, you may have to decide or consult with your boss for the best time for you to be off. If you are working from home it may be easier for you to schedule your surgery.
Teachers may need to schedule their surgery during summer break or during a two-week recess. Seasonal workers may have a choice to have surgery when they are off work.
Some doctors are so busy that you will need to schedule your surgery 2 to 3 months ahead. Once you choose the best time for you, make your appointment for surgery as early as possible.
You may have a break at Christmas or another holiday but your doctor may be planning a vacation during that time himself.
Consider Your Caregiver
You may have decided on the best time for you to have TKR surgery but you need to consider your caregiver’s schedule as well. You will need a caregiver for at least the first few weeks after surgery.
If they are working or if they have commitments they will need to free themselves up during the time you choose. You also need to be sure that you have a driver to and from offsite therapy if you are unable to drive yourself.
What Experts Say About The Best Month For TKR Surgery
I tried hard to find expert opinions for the best time of the year for TKR. Unfortunately, I could not find any. I’m not a doctor but hopefully, my information can help you decide on the best time of year (more questions to ask before surgery).
Depending on your need for knee replacement, you may not have the luxury of picking a time of year and might proceed with the surgery based on your doctor’s recommendation.
My Experience And Timing Of Knee Surgery
I choose to have my TKR in the early spring and I have been happy with my decision. I made the final decision to have the surgery in November but I decided rehabilitation during cold weather was not an optimal time.
Scheduling the surgery a few months in the future gave me time to finish up projects around the house and to take a trip to see family prior to surgery.
Even though I live in a fairly warm climate, the weather can be rainy and cold at times during the winter months. We do not have AC but we do use the heater at times for 3 months in the winter.
The end of May was the perfect time for me. The weather is warm enough to wear shorts all day. As I mentioned before, the fewer clothes you need to put on and take off the better.
Shorts are also easier to exercise in and I didn’t have to worry about pants rubbing on the staples and the incision. This was also a good time to take my rehab walks outside with minimal clothing.
My doctor does TKR surgery year round, excluding time he may be away on holiday. His schedule was wide open although he suggested I plan 2 to 3 months ahead for availability in his schedule.
If I had to do it over again I would go with the same time frame, early spring. Early fall would be my second choice.
If you’re thinking of having knee replacement surgery, you might be waiting for the ideal time. I put off TKR for years and finally made the decision.
After you make the decision to have TKR, don’t be in too big of a hurry to schedule your surgery. The time of year that you have the surgery can have many advantages.
It’s important to consider the climate you live in and choose a time when it’s not too hot or too cold. Once you choose the best time of year, make sure your caregiver and driver can be available at the same time.
If you’re working you may have to consult your boss as to when the best time would be for you to be absent from your work. Avoid the extremes of hot and cold weather so you can be comfortable in the house and when you are outside walking.
I hope this article helps you to choose the right time for your TKR surgery. Choosing the right time of year to have your surgery is important. Thanks for reading my blog and be sure to check out my other helpful articles based on my experience.