Four Tips For Patients Undergoing Knee Replacement Surgery

Posted on: 20 March 2020

Arthritis attacks the connective tissue that cushions and supports your joints. Once your cartilage has been worn away, your body will not be able to regrow it. Without sufficient cartilage, your bones may grind together when you bend your joints, which can cause severe pain in addition to the pain caused by inflammation. If you have suffered bone or joint damage due to arthritis, your doctor may present knee replacement surgery as a treatment option. Here are four tips for patients who undergo this procedure.

1. Prepare your home.

You won't be able to bear weight on your knee after your surgery, which means you'll need to use crutches initially. During this time, you'll want to avoid going up and down stairs as much as possible. If your bed is located on the second floor of your home, you may want to utilize a guest bedroom located on the first floor instead. Consider bringing everything you'll need to one easily accessible location in your house so that you can walk as little as possible.

2. Do the exercises your doctor shows you.

After your surgery, a doctor or nurse will show you some basic exercises you can do to regain mobility in your knee. You will have to do gentle joint rotations to encourage blood flow and speed up healing. Do these exercises several times a day or as often as your doctor instructs. Keeping up with all postoperative instructions will lessen your chances of developing complications.

3. Plan to stay in the hospital.

Unlike other, less invasive surgeries, knee replacement surgery is a major procedure that will require you to stay in the hospital. Your surgeon will want to keep you for observation for up to three days in order to ensure your knee heals as it should. Bring anything you think you will need during this time, including personal care items, entertainment, your cell phone, and a phone charger.

4. Attend your physical therapy appointments.

After your knee begins to heal, you will need to attend physical therapy to regain full use of your leg. This may be difficult at first, especially when you are still in the early stages of recovery, but pain medication can help you manage your discomfort. With proper dedication to PT, you will find that you're eventually able to walk, run, and bend down without pain in your leg. Most patients will need to do physical therapy for at least eight weeks.

To learn more about knee replacements, contact a doctor.