Dr. O'Connor explains whether women should defer their knee replacement surgery until they get into better shape.
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We have some new data that really that shows a difference in physical conditioning of women compared to men before knee replacement surgery. And unfortunately, the women are a lot weaker. And we see this play out because after surgery, women have more travel going up and down stairs, rising from a seated position, walking distances and that all ties back to the fact that their muscles were weaker before the surgery. So, it’s a very important that both the doctor and the patient focus on good rehab and good exercises both before and after surgery. Now, sometimes it’s hard before surgery because their knee really hurts and they can’t do the exercises. You have to understand that. But then I say, recognize, we’re really going to have to work on getting your muscle strength back because we want you to have just a great result. Then, one interesting question is what about delaying surgery? The patient that comes in and their knee is pretty bad and they’re having a lot of pain, well knee replacement surgery is an elective operation so you don’t have to have it. The question is when should you have it? And one concern that I have is that oftentimes, women who’ve put off the surgery sometimes actually hurt themselves in teh long run because they are just getting weaker and weaker as they delay the surgery.
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