The recovery process from a knee replacement surgery starts immediately after the procedure. Restoring strength and mobility in the joint requires at least twelve weeks of dedicated focus on rehabilitation. After all, your knee will undergo surgery, which carries risks, limited mobility, and a certain degree of pain.
The recovery process will be uncomfortable, but preparation and staying committed to a plan can help ensure a successful recovery. Let’s talk about the recovery process after knee replacement surgery and where you can go for outstanding surgery in Farmington Hills, MI.
Preparing for the Surgery
A knee replacement surgery means a major joint vital to movement will be compromised.
Although the procedure will not fully incapacitate the knee, its mobility will be limited by pain and discomfort. This means requiring extra support and ensuring the best environment for rehabilitation.
Outside of staying at a care facility, you can modify your home to make it easier to navigate during recovery.
Arranging for someone to help care for you during the first few weeks is important. Patients are advised against driving, so plan for a ride home and to your physical therapist.
You will need help with tasks, such as cooking, bathing, laundry, and shopping. Hiring a social worker is an option if you live alone or have no immediate help.
As for home modifications, prioritize safety and accessibility. Creating a living space on the ground floor is optimal for avoiding stairs.
Have a stable chair during the early stages of recovery with firm seating and a footstool to elevate your leg. Other modifications include:
- Secure handrails along stairways
- Safety bars or handrails in the bathroom shower
- A stable shower chair for bathing
- A toilet seat riser with arms for low toilets
- Removing loose rugs and cords
The Recovery Process
Movement of the knee is encouraged immediately after surgery. Within the first week, a physical therapist will help with standing up and walking. Assistive devices such as walkers, crutches, and canes can help.
The physical therapist will also demonstrate how to get in and out of bed, move around, and bathe safely.
In addition, they will discuss a rehabilitation plan that includes protocols and exercise regimes to do at home.
Recovering at Home
Upon discharge, the success of your recovery will depend on your efforts at home. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore a normal quality of life.
This means daily exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding high-impact activities. Gradually, the range of your activities will increase along with decreased pain and discomfort.
The first few months of rehabilitation are the most important for regaining strength and mobility. Full recovery can take up to a year.
Early postoperative exercises help increase blood circulation to your legs and feet. This helps prevent blood clots and strengthens the muscles around your knees. Start the exercises your physical therapist showed you as soon as possible.
Early recovery exercises include simple stretching, flexing, and raising movements. Other early activities include standing for a while, walking with an aid, and stair climbing.
Physical Therapy Sessions
Visiting your physical therapist will allow them to assess your recovery and advance your exercise regime.
Your physical therapist will evaluate the strength of your muscles around the knee and its range of motion. From there, they will increase the difficulty of your exercises accordingly and alter your activity restrictions.
By the twelfth week, some patients can expect to be cycling on a stationary bike, doing squats and leg balances.
High-impact activities are still off the table, and any new activities should be cleared by your physical therapist. Swimming, golf, and cycling are possible upon your doctor’s approval.
Understanding Complications and When to Seek Help
The three main complications to look out for early in recovery are infection, blood clotting, and nerve damage.
Infections can be avoided by keeping the wound clean, covered, and dry. Learn how to redress the wound or visit your doctor regularly to have it done for you. Seek a doctor if you experience a fever, chills, or swollen lymph nodes.
The exercises taught to you by your physical therapists help reduce the risk of blood clotting. You may also be prescribed blood thinners to prevent it. If you experience swelling, throbbing pain, and redness around the knee, visit your doctor.
Too much strain on the knee can cause damage to the nerves or the new joint. Follow a healthy diet to help strengthen your bones and muscles.
Also, keep your weight healthy to avoid added pressure on the knees. Call your provider for numbness, weakness, or severe pain in the operative knee.
Knee Replacement inFarmington Hills, MI
Are you looking for the best orthopedic surgeon and knee specialist in Naples, FL? Look no further than the healthcare providers at Tri-County Orthopedics. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in orthopedic surgeries and are up-to-date on the latest advancements that can further help our patients live better lives.
If you have any questions or would like to book a consultation, call us today at (248) 474-5575 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.