What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery

Health & Medical Blog

Even though knee replacement surgery is a routine procedure, it's normal to be scared. After all, you're having surgery performed on a part of your body that needs to function properly in order for you to walk. However, knowing what to expect after the surgery is complete helps minimize your fears.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

When you have a total knee replacement, recovery and rehab can take up to 12 weeks. However, the amount of recovery time varies depending on whether your orthopedic surgeon performs traditional knee replacement surgery or uses a less invasive approach. Surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries complete entire process using a three- to five-inch incision. This results in less tissue damage, less pain, and less recovery time because the surgeon works between the fibers of the quadricep muscles instead of making an incision through your tendon.

How Long Is It Until You Can Walk Again?

Rehabilitation for knee replacement surgery begins almost immediately. So, you can expect to be standing and walking with the help of a physical therapist, and a cane or walker, within the first 24 hours. While it may seem like walking so soon after surgery is difficult, it's important that you begin using your artificial knee as soon as possible. You can also expect your physical therapist to provide you with exercises to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee. In most cases, your physical therapist will guide you through these exercises daily while you're still in the hospital or rehab facility.

Ideally, you'll be able bend your leg at a 90-degree angle, dress and bathe on your own, and only rely on an assistive walking device minimally by the time you're released from the hospital, which typically takes three days. As long as you follow your rehabilitation schedule, you should be able to begin weaning yourself off of the assistive walking device completely within four to six weeks, and 12 weeks after your surgery, you should be able to completely resume all of your normal activities without assistance.

Prepare Your Home

Some people stay in a rehab facility throughout their entire recovery, while others complete a portion of their recovery at home. If you plan to recover at home, it's important to prepare for your recovery before your surgery. You need to:

  • Arrange your furniture so that you can maneuver around it using a cane or walker easily.
  • Remove any rugs that could cause you to slip, as well as anything that could cause you to fall, such as electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have a chair that is easy for you to get in and out of, ideally a firm recliner with a footstool that has a higher-than-average seat.'
  • Make sure your bathroom is equipped with a shower chair, gripping bar, and a raised toilet seat.

Recovering from knee replacement surgery takes time. It's important that you remain patient, and that you aren't too hard on yourself if you aren't able to do things that you would normally do right away. Also, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your recovery, you should talk to your orthopedic surgeon before the procedure. To learn more about knee surgery, contact the experts at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates


20 April 2015