After a Knee Replacement
After a knee replacement there are certain precautions you need to follow to ensure a full recovery and return to your normal-day activities. Normally, Dr. Mead”s patients return to walk in two days. After that, it is time to start your home recovery steps. The success of the surgery will be highly impacted by the how carefully you follow the instructions of your orthopedic doctor the following weeks after your knee replacement.
Taking care of the wound
You will have a suture, stitches or staples on your knee surface or a suture underneath the frontal skin of your knee. Stitches or staples will be remove after a few weeks. Sutures underneath the skin are absorb by the body.
Try to avoid large volumes of water on the wound until is completely sealed. ON the other hand, you can keep bandaging it to prevent irritations caused by clothing materials and/or other elements.
Is common to lose some appetite weeks after the surgery. A well balanced diet, supplemented with iron, is going to become a important part of the equation in order to expedite the scaring process as well as strength your muscles.
Exercise is a critical component to help you heal, specially during the first couple of weeks after knee replacement. You should be able to perform regular activities after 3-6 weeks after the surgery. During this period of time, it is normal to feel some pain during physical activities.
Your program must include:
- Daily walking sessions to slowly recover mobility. Starting at home and later in exteriors.
- The return to normal domestic activities such as sitting, standing up and stepping up the stairs.
- Specific exercises several times a day to reestablish movement and strength your knee. Probably, you can perform this exercises by yourself. However, it is recommendable to have a physical therapist assist you at home during recovery o go to special therapy centers during the weeks following surgery. If you are in Naples, Florida, our center is a great facility prepare to assist you during the whole process.
Driving will become possible once your knee flexes enough, your muscles recover their reaction time to handle the pedal and you feel comfortable sitting. Most people start driving after 4-6 weeks.
Avoiding problems after a knee replacement: Preventing clots
Follow the instructions imparted by your orthopedic surgeon to reduce the risk of developing blood clots during recovery. Please notify your doctor as soon as possible if you develop the following signs:
Blot clots warning signs
- Rising pain in your calves
- Pain to pressure or redness above or below the knee
- Rising swelling in your calves, ankle and foot
Pulmonary embolism warning signs
- Sudden difficulty to breathe
- Sudden chest pain
- Localized chest pain followed by coughing
A common cause of infection after a knee replacement comes from bacteria entering the body after dental procedures, urinary and/or skin infections. Bacteria can be hosted around your knee prothesis and cause an infection.
To prevent infections antibiotics should be taken after the surgery if you are going to have a dental procedures or any other with a possible risk of bacteria.
Notify your orthopedic doctor immediately if you develop :
- Constant fever above 100 F
- Chills and trembler
- Increased redness, pain to pressure or swelling of the knee
- Secretions from the wound
- Increased pain in the knee with activity and awhile resting
A fall during the following the first weeks after a knee replacement may damage your new knee resulting in additional surgery. Stairs particularly are really dangerous until your knee becomes strong and regains mobility. You should use a cain, crutches or any other device to support it while recovery.
You can always consult with our practice if you have any questions after your knee replacement surgery.
Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119