Whether you suffer from a chronic knee condition or trauma to the knee, your orthopedic doctor may recommend surgery. Unless it’s an emergency, you can typically decide when to schedule your procedure.
Is there an ideal time of year to plan for knee surgery? While you don’t want to wait too long, you’ll want to figure out the ideal timeframe to undergo knee surgery rehab and recovery.
Check out these considerations that will help you make your decision with the assistance of your orthopedic partner.
The Problem With Summer and Winter for Knee Surgery
Many people assume that the middle of summer or winter can be great times for knee surgery. Wintertime landscaping and yard work aren’t as demanding, and it may be easier to take a couple of weeks off work in the summer.
However, there are a few underlying issues with elective summer or winter knee surgeries. In the mid-Atlantic region, winter brings a lot of cold weather and frozen participation. After a total knee replacement surgery, you’ll still need to go to appointments. Getting in and out of a car under snowy, freezing conditions can be hazardous. As you begin moving around again, improving your circulation could take longer if your home is not at a comfortable temperature.
In summer, however, you’ll need to keep your house cool. A hot, sticky house won’t make changing your surgical site dressings easy. You might also not want to head outdoors due to excessive summer temperatures.
Why Spring and Early Fall Are the Best Times for Knee Surgery
These considerations leave spring and fall as the best times for knee surgery. The general temperature tends to cooperate and you’re less likely to deal with snow, sleet or ice. You may also avoid seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression affecting people during months with little sunshine. Spring and fall offer lots of daylight and fresh air.
Your physical therapy is another reason to choose spring and fall for your knee surgery. Part of your therapy will be performing exercises indoors and outside, which will be more appealing when the temperature isn’t too hot or cold.
Other Factors to Consider
There’s more to consider than the calendar when scheduling a total knee replacement or another surgery. Other factors include:
- When your primary caregiver can help you with your daily activities.
- When you can get enough time off from your job.
- When you have the time to focus on your recovery.
- When your orthopedic doctor has an opening.