When your doctor tells you that you need a total knee replacement, you may approach the event with some anxiety. Millions of individuals have had knee replacements, and the process of recovery has been carefully researched. If you follow your doctor’s recommendations and perform your physical therapy, you can expect to enjoy an active lifestyle for many years. Here are some conditions you can expect as you recover from a knee replacement operation:
Getting Back on Your Feet
After surgery, you will probably stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. You may be surprised how soon you are encouraged to get up on your feet after the procedure. However, this is important to aid healing, ensure flexibility and prevent blood clots.
Pain Management Measures
In the hospital, patients are put on heavy pain-relieving medications after surgery. As you recover in the hospital, you will give other types of pain medication that you can bring home with you. These medications are highly effective but may have some side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to receive maximum benefit from these drugs.
Managing Daily Tasks
Even in the hospital, you will be encouraged to do your daily bathing and grooming tasks. When you return home, you will be encouraged to use a walker to take care of normal activities, but you will still need assistance with cooking, driving, and other items.
Doing Your Physical Therapy
After surgery, you will be prescribed a course of treatment with a physical therapist. These activities are critical to regaining strength, flexibility, and a full range of motion in your new knee. You may experience discomfort from the exercises, so keep your pain medication on hand.
Driving Your Car
You will not be able to drive immediately after surgery, due to the medications you’re taking and the unreliability of the strength in the affected leg. Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you. By about 6 weeks after surgery, you should be able to resume driving.
Getting Back To Normal Activities
As you reach the 10 to 12-week mark after surgery, you will be feeling well enough to resume your normal activities, such as going back to work, shopping, dancing, and bicycling.
Although getting a total knee replacement sounds like a dramatic procedure, thousands of these surgeries are done every day in the U.S, and the recovery strategies have been carefully designed and tested to provide successful results. Follow your doctor’s orders, and you will be engaging in your favorite activities even better than before.