Frequently asked knee surgery questions
I received an injection in my knee, what can I expect?
If you received an injection on your visit, then it is possible that your condition may not require surgery. In cases like these we utilize cortisone and physical therapy to treat your knee by non-operative means. Physical therapy is done for a period of 46 weeks at which time you will be re-evaluated. Most patients improve with conservative treatment. Cortisone can take 1-2 weeks to take effect. During this time we advised the use of ice.
I had an MRI ordered. What can I expect?
After your physician has received the results of your MRI, you will be contacted to arrange another appointment to review those results and discuss the appropriate course of action.
If my appointment is scheduled with Dr. Whitehurst will I see him on my first visit?
Upon your visit here you will be seen by Dr. Whitehurst and or his Physician Assistant Francie Kelso. Dr. Whitehurst and Francie work closely together so if you are not seen by Dr. Whitehurst on your first visit, you can be sure that he is aware and actively involved in your care.
My MRI showed a tear and I’m having surgery, who do I contact?
If you are to schedule surgery, please call 815-484-6958 and speak to Ashley to select a surgery date and complete the necessary preoperative testing.
Who performs the surgery?
Dr. Whitehurst performs the surgery with the assistance of his Physician Assistant Francie Kelso.
Will I need pain meds after surgery?
You are able to take over the counter anti-inflammatories in place of or in addition to the narcotic if this works for your pain.
How long will the surgery take?
All surgeries vary with regards to the extent of damage. Most knee surgeries can be performed in a period of 1-3 hours.
Will I need to go to therapy after surgery?
Once you are seen in the office after surgery we will issue you a prescription for physical therapy. Therapy is done 2-3 times per week and lasts for approximately 3-4 months, depending on the type of surgery and the demands of your job or sport.
Where will I do my therapy?
Therapy can be done anywhere that is convenient for you. We have a list of physical therapy offices that we routinely use and we can assist you with selecting one that is right for you.
Will my surgery be open or arthroscopic?
Dr. Whitehurst is fellowship trained in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, therefore, the majority of knee surgery is performed arthroscopically. If your surgery is requiring a move invasive approach, a separate incision may be required to aid in the repair/reconstruction.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
A minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small endoscope (camera) is inserted into the knee to perform surgical repair of damaged tissue. This often times is done through 2 or 3 portals (small incisions in the skin).
Am I asleep for the surgery?
Yes, your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia. It is also possible to have a regional anesthetic block.
How long will I be required to wear my brace?
If your surgery requires the use of a brace/immobilizer you may need to wear this for a period of 1 to 8 weeks depending on the surgery performed.
Can I take my leg out of the brace?
If you have a brace on after surgery it is to be left on to protect the repair and surgery performed, unless you receive separate instructions by your physician.
Can I put weight on my leg after surgery?
Unless directed by your physician, you may be able to put as much weight as is tolerable after surgery. Crutches may be used to assist with walking.
When can I shower?
You will be permitted to remove the surgical dressing 2-3 days after the surgery unless advised otherwise by your physician. You may shower if you cover the incisions with Tegaderm dressing.
When can I return to work?
Generally patients are able to return to desk work within the first few weeks after surgery although this depends on how the patient is feeling. If your work is labor intensive, you may be off for 3-5 months.
When can I return to sports?
Patients generally are able to return to sports in as soon as 5 weeks and as long as 6 months depending on the surgery performed. All cases vary and you may have an earlier return depending on the discretion of your physician.
When can I drive after surgery?
Patients should not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking narcotics. Normally patients are allowed to drive at 4 weeks post-op.
How much of my surgery will be covered by my insurance?
Patient’s insurance benefits are verified at Ortho Illinois by our verification of benefits department prior to any procedure. However, this verification of benefits does not identify the financial portion for which the patient will be held responsible. It is the responsibility of each patient to contact their insurance carrier for a more complete understanding of their policy coverage.
If I have questions whom do I contact in Dr. Whitehurst’s office?
Our team is here to assist you and make your surgical experience a pleasant one. Ashley is part of our staff and are here to aid with seeing patients in clinic and scheduling of surgery. Nicole will help you to find an office appointment that works with your schedule. If you receive a voice mail please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.