If you’re one of the thousands of people who have recently undergone knee replacement surgery, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. Recovery can be a challenging process, but it can also be a lot smoother with the right support system in place.
For example, we suggest you keep sufficient food on hand and ensure that essential items are within reach. Also, remove any potential hazards from the floor. It may be difficult for you to stand, sit, or move around from one room to the next. Preparing meals or assisting with your personal hygiene may be required. Said that, if you are recovering from knee replacement surgery, these tips can help make things easier.
11 Tips For Quick Recovery From Knee Replacement Surgery
1. Prepare The Room
If you are recuperating from knee replacement surgery, it’s important to have everything in place. It’s a good idea to prepare the home ahead of time so that everything goes smoothly during your rehabilitation. You might want to set up a recovery room on the first floor for convenience. This room should have everything you need such as:
- A chair to sit in after knee replacement. We have some of the best chairs to sit in after knee replacement, so check them out here.
- Pillows for elevating the lower leg.
- A bedside urinal/commode if the bathroom isn’t easily accessible.
- A bed that is of moderate height or anything easy to get in and out.
- Ice packs.
- A cellphone/telephone with chargers.
- Accessible, well-organized medications.
- A walker or crutches.
- Comfortable sleepwear and shoes.
- Adequate bandages for changing dressings.
- Easy-to-use bedside lamp(s).
2. Take Medications As Instructed
It’s critical you follow all of your doctor’s instructions. This can include taking medications and completing physical therapy sessions as needed. Not following your doctor’s advice can prolong recovery.
Surgical results are generally positive for most people. However, there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, including knee replacement surgery. Complications that can occur during or after a knee replacement include nerve damage, blood clots, infection at the incision site or inside the joint, stiffness of the knee, and many others. If you experience any of these symptoms after surgery, it’s essential to call your doctor right away so that they can evaluate them and take appropriate action if necessary.
3. Hire Help For Household Chores And Other Daily Tasks
The pain medications can make you drowsy, and it’s important to get the rest you need. If possible, have someone help with household chores while you recover from surgery, especially if your surgery requires a one-leg stand during recovery or you have other medical conditions that make it difficult for you to carry out your usual activities. For example, ask your family members or friends to help you with shopping and meal preparation. If you’re unable to do those things and lack family or friends, ask about local services that can help out.
You should also contact your city government and inquire about community services such as Meals on Wheels and home cleaning/repair services (if available), as well as the availability of food banks in your area.
Most people have health insurance through their employers. Contact your employer to find out what benefits are provided for knee replacement surgery, such as paid time off from work during recovery and any physical therapy coverage. Discuss with your employer whether your insurance will cover home health aide services as well as how much it might cost to receive those services.
It would be a good idea to have a backup plan if you need supplemental care or custom orthotic devices to help you recover faster and live a pain-free life. These devices may include braces, slings, crutches, etc.
Find out what household appliances can help with mobility and hygiene needs during recovery from knee replacement surgery. This includes the availability of shower chairs, grab bars in showers or bathroom walls for support when standing or sitting down, handheld showerheads for easy access when bathing, etc.) If you’re unable to do these things on your own during recovery from knee replacement surgery, hire professionals to help you.
4. Manage Pain Effectively
Pain after knee replacement surgery used to be thought of as something you had to endure. Properly managing discomfort boosts recovery speed and reduces pain. Because pain is subjective, it’s critical to identify and characterize the source and severity of your pain. Therefore, it is essential your caring team, including the doctor, know whether the discomfort is constant or intermittent and if it’s sharp, tingling, or burning in nature. Though it’s natural to feel some discomfort following knee replacement surgery, a good pain management strategy can significantly reduce your level of discomfort and speed up your recovery.
5. Try Walking As Soon As Possible
Recovering from knee replacement surgery isn’t easy, but getting back on your feet as soon as the physician permits can help you recover more quickly. Walking helps avoid blood clots, improves circulation, and keeps your joints flexible. Furthermore, walking aids in the delivery of essential nutrients to your knee, allowing it to heal and recover faster. You can try walking soon after your surgery is done. A lot of patients can begin walking while still in the hospital. For the first few weeks, you’ll most likely need a walker or assistance from someone to help you take those steps. However, many patients can walk on their own after four to eight weeks of knee replacement.
6. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is an essential component of recovering from knee replacement surgery. A physical therapist will show you exercises to help your knee heal at home and in the rehabilitation clinic. Even if you feel well and confident, it’s critical to continue physical therapy because it might speed up your recovery. Physical treatment will assist in the strengthening of your leg, walking ability, and knee joint movement. It will also help to manage pain and help prevent complications.
After surgery, it’s important to move your knee through its full range of motion (ROM) under the guidance of your therapist. Your therapist will make sure that you do exercises in a certain way and at a certain speed to avoid injury. Physical therapy will help you learn to do these exercises by yourself so that you can continue them at home. It’s essential to work with your physical therapist because the exercises taught are what the physical therapist knows best for your knee.
It’s also crucial to exercise. This is not the same as the exercises you learn in physical therapy. Physical activity that is safe and secure will help your muscles grow stronger and heal more swiftly. Remember, while exercise is essential, it should not be painful. It’s perfectly natural to want to get well as soon as possible. On the other hand, pushing yourself too far might result in a setback. Your doctor or physical therapist may advise you on which sorts of activities are safe for you to do, such as going for walks or working out on an elliptical machine. Pace yourself and take breaks if you feel any pain. You should also check with your doctor before trying any new exercises.
8. Have A Nutritious Diet
It’s important to eat the right food, too. Your doctor will probably recommend a high-protein diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. To promote faster healing, stay well hydrated with clear liquids. This means avoiding alcohol and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or cola. There are also foods you should avoid. For example, if you’re on a high-protein diet, it’s best to avoid red meat for the first month after surgery because it can slow down your blood flow (this doesn’t apply later when you go back to your regular diet).
If you smoke, now would be an ideal time to quit. Smoking affects your body in many ways. For example, it slows the movement of material like nutrients into bones and tissue and prevents the removal of waste products from these tissues. These delays can slow recovery from surgery and increase complications such as infection. Quitting smoking will help improve energy levels and circulation throughout the body, especially during recovery.
Avoiding alcohol is one of the best things you can do to recover faster after your surgery. Do not resume drinking until your doctor tells you it’s OK to do so. Drinking too much alcohol will affect your blood flow after surgery, which could slow down healing and increase complications such as infection or blood clotting. Drinking more than three alcoholic beverages on any one day while recovering from a knee replacement is considered risky behavior.
9. Maintain A Daily Routine
It’s best for you to maintain as normal a routine as possible during recovery from knee replacement surgery. This is because returning to your daily activities early can help you recover faster and be more comfortable – at home and during physical therapy sessions. Having a positive attitude toward recovery is also important. Never hesitate to ask questions if you’re confused about anything, whether it’s a medication or a food restriction. Your doctor will always be happy to answer any of your questions, including those that might seem silly or embarrassing
After knee replacement surgery, discarding the crutches will help improve the flexibility of your leg muscles and tendons over time, allowing them to gradually become stronger than they were before surgery so that they can bear the weight of your body. It’s absolutely essential that you get rid of your crutches before you attempt to walk without them again. This process may take between two and four weeks, depending on how capable your leg muscles become after recovery from surgery. If the muscles aren’t strong enough relatively soon after recovery, knee replacement won’t help improve their ability to bear weight or recover their range of motion.
During the first month after knee replacement surgery, try not to stand for more than 30 minutes at a time. Driving is fine as long as it doesn’t hurt and you feel comfortable doing so. Yes, this might seem like a lot of time spent sitting down but consider that most people don’t do much more than sitting with complete abandon for that long during the course of a day. After this, your doctor will probably recommend gradually increasing your time standing or walking up to three hours at a stretch over the next four weeks.
Your doctor might ask you to do some passive motion exercises, in which they move your knee while you relax. They might also order other types of physical therapy for you to help build strength and regain range of motion after surgery, which would involve stretching and other movement-based therapies. Remaining physically active is important not just because it helps build stronger muscles but also because it keeps joints flexible, promotes circulation through blood vessels and lymphatic systems, prevents muscle atrophy/thinning, increases energy levels by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream, and can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Physical therapy is just as crucial to the recovery process as visiting your doctor regularly for check-ups after your knee replacement surgery. In fact, some surgeons recommend attending physiotherapy sessions even before you have completely recovered from surgery so that you can learn about how to avoid complications and be more comfortable during the entire recovery process. Your physical therapist will show you exercises designed to help strengthen your muscles when they’re fully healed after surgery, which is when you can start bearing weight on the new joint.
10. Get Enough Rest
Many patients are eager to get well, and this is perfectly natural. Did you know that resting is just as essential to your recovery as exercising? To recover from knee replacement surgery, you must balance motion with rest. For the initial few months, you may experience mild to severe swelling in the operated knee. Getting enough sleep and elevating your leg can help speed up the healing process. You can also consult your doctor or physical therapist about the best ways to reduce swelling.
Your body needs time to heal between medical procedures, so it’s necessary to know when to seek immediate medical attention. For example, suppose you have serious concerns about your knee replacement surgery. In that case, contact your surgeon as soon as possible so they can provide potentially life-saving care. There is no room for error or delay when it comes to the health of your joints, so if something feels off, ask yourself whether you can afford not to get it checked out right away.
11. Get Emotional Support
Recovering from knee replacement surgery is both physically and mentally demanding. You should make sure you get all the emotional support and encouragement you deserve while going through this period. Ask for help from your spouse and children, and also don’t be afraid to lean on friends, therapy groups, or other resources in times of need. This will go a long way toward keeping yourself emotionally healthy while recovering.
The main priority after knee replacement surgery is taking care of your new joint. During the recovery process, you may find it challenging to move around and do even simple tasks, which may affect you both physically and emotionally. Although each case is different, knee replacement patients generally expect to spend two to four weeks on bed rest after surgery before gradually resuming daily activities. This does not mean you will be immobile for that entire time. Assistive devices like walkers, crutches, and canes are available to help people move around while their knee is recovering.
The most important thing you can do to ensure your recovery is actively participating in the process. This involves visiting your doctor regularly participating in physical therapy and doing exercises designed for knee replacement patients. It’s never too late to get into shape or start living an active lifestyle – even if you’ve had surgery in the past or suffer from other health problems that make it difficult for you to do your regular activities. In addition, by taking the time out of your busy schedule to lead an active lifestyle, you can reduce your chance of getting complications like blood clots and pneumonia after surgery.
Try to look at knee replacement surgery as a stepping stone toward achieving better health. You can still lead an active lifestyle, even if you have undergone this procedure. And the more time you spend being physically active, the healthier your body will become in both the short term and long run.
Knee replacement surgery is one of the most frequent orthopedic operations done today, and it has offered hope to many people who have severe joint discomfort. Before you undergo knee replacement surgery, make sure you understand what’s involved in this process so you can be prepared before the big day. Talk with your surgeon about proper aftercare so you can recover as quickly as possible.
Above all, try to live an active lifestyle after knee replacement surgery by taking the necessary precautions and following your doctor’s advice. Although no joint is perfect, you should take pride in knowing that you’ve made a positive change for yourself.
We hope the tips we explained above will help you recover from surgery as fast as possible. However, if you have new concerns or symptoms after reading this article, be sure to contact your doctor immediately. And if we missed anything important, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.