Even though orthopedic knee surgery is a major operation the rehabilitation process commences almost immediately.
Prior to the knee surgery operation your orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you everything about the recovery period and what you should do to ensure the best possible recovery results. You’ll learn that knee replacement recovery can take from between six and eight weeks. In that period of time there will be certain exercises for you to do to help in the recovery process. He will also discuss other things such as pain management, driving etc.
After the knee surgery operation you will be advised to keep your leg elevated and for a short period of time ice packs may be applied to help reduce swelling.
Usually within a day or two of the knee operation you will be expected to put weight on the knee and to start walking. Initially this will only be for short periods of time. You will also be given other total knee replacement exercises to do to assist in your recovery. You may have to do these exercises and others for 2 to 3 months.
When you first start to walk you will not be expected to do so unaided. You should have access to a walker or crutches to help you. Your orthopedic therapist will also be with you to advise and help. It is important for your knee replacement recovery that you put as much weight on the knee as possible without it becoming uncomfortable. However, if the pain becomes too much or swelling occurs then you are probably doing too much.
You may experience some pain in the knee joint following the knee surgery. This is completely normal and medication to relieve the pain should be available to you. Once the pain ceases you should stop taking the pain medication.
Driving should not be attempted for at least 7 days after surgery and before commencing to drive consult with your therapist or doctor to ensure that it is OK to do so.
If you feel that recovery is not occurring as you feel it should, you feel an excessive amount of pain in your knee, it feels hot or there are signs of excessive swelling then consult with your doctor or orthopedic specialist.
For most people recovery from total knee replacement surgery is routine and complications are rare.
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