Life Before and After a Knee Replacement

by Jsantos, December 10, 2012

h1>Life Before and After a Knee Replacement

Having surgery to replace one’s knees can be quite stressful on the body, as well as the psyche. Life after knee replacement is probably not going to be the same as life before the surgery. Those who loved having an active lifestyle were probably concerned they would have to alter their lives drastically after they undergo the procedure. While it is certainly true that there are going to be some differences in life, it doesn’t have to be as frightening as you might believe. Understand more about what is

going to happen via the orthopedic surgeon and your own research. You will find that you should be able to resume the majority of your normal activities, although you should avoid those activities

that are going to put stress on your knee.

What to Expect in the Hospital

After knee replacement surgery, while you are still in the hospital, one of the things that the doctors are going to require is rest. The procedure can be demanding, and it is important to make sure that you get plenty of rest before attempting to mobilize your knee. The orthopedic surgeon will be able to let you know how long you should rest before you begin to rehabilitate. The leg muscles are likely going to be weak when you first start to use your knee again, and having a good physical therapist to help you through the early stages of recuperation will be very beneficial. The therapist will show you some exercises that you can do while you are still recovering in the hospital.

Managing your pain is also quite important during the first stages of recovery. Pain medications can be useful for this, but one never wants to grow dependent on pain pills to help them deal with pain. Other medications that those who have surgery are sometimes prescribed include antibiotics to prevent infection and blood thinners to prevent the possibility of blood clots. In the first days after knee replacement surgery, you are going to have a dressing on your knee, as well as a drain to remove any fluid buildup.

Most of the time, patients are going to stay in the hospital for between three and seven days, but it depends on the patient. As long as you are able to get in and out of bed on your own, bend your knee to about a 90-degree angle, extend your knee, then they will likely discharge you. They also want to make sure that you can use crutches or a walker on a level surface and that you can climb some stairs with them. You also must remember to do the exercises given to you by the hospital’s physical therapist.

Going Forward

Chances are that you will need someone to help you around the house those first couple of weeks after knee replacement surgery. Make sure that you keep your wound clean and dry, and do not shower or bathe until the staples or stitches are removed. Take care with all of the normal daily activities, and go slow. If you have any side effects that you believe could be from the wound, the surgery, or your medication, then you should contact your doctor right away.

Over the course of about six months to a year, you will be able to start to add other activities back into your life that you did before the surgery. In general, it should take about six to eight weeks before you can return to work or drive. Keep up with the physical therapy, start walking, go swimming, and heed the advice of your physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon. You will not heal overnight, but you will heal and get back to your normal routine.

Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201  Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119


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