Knee surgery is considered major surgery. Minimally-invasive techniques may shorten the duration of surgery and recovery period, but postoperative patients may still find the recovery period challenging. The best way to prepare for knee surgery post-op care is through coordination with your surgeon, family, and friends.
Generally, here’s what to expect of knee surgery post-operation instructions.
As you awaken in the recovery room, you may feel numbness or weakness in your legs, which is normal and should go away once the anesthesia wears off. When it wears off, you can expect to feel pain at the surgery site – for which your nurse will provide pain medication. You will continue to take pain medication for a few weeks after surgery until pain symptoms reduce significantly. The goal is to gradually reduce the use of pain medication as your pain symptoms subside. It’s best to take pain medication after a meal. Do not wait for the pain to worsen before taking it.
Wound Care and Blood Clot Prevention
Proper wound care is also important with special attention on signs of infection. After the surgery, your knee will be covered with a dressing, which will be removed by the surgeon after two weeks. You should be able to shower within two weeks but avoid taking baths and submerging the knee in water. If you notice swelling, inflammation, and oozing, and if you develop a fever, call your doctor immediately.
There is a risk of blood clots after surgery, which is why doctors recommend wiggling your toes and moving your feet up and down at least every hour for the first two to three weeks after surgery. Wearing compression sleeves on your lower leg and keeping it in an elevated position when lying down also helps prevent blood clots.
It is encouraged that you get up and move after surgery, but only with the help of assistive devices such as crutches or a walker. An occupational therapist is usually assigned to your care to help you move safely and perform activities given your specific limitations. Bed transfers, sitting down, tub bench/shower transfers, and lower body dressing are just a few things your occupational therapist will instruct you on. During preoperative planning, doctors usually recommend that you install assistive equipment in your home.
Physical therapy helps relieve pain and gradually restore normal joint function, and it is a critical part of rehabilitation. Daily exercise is important. Your physical therapist will teach you what exercises to do and how to do them safely. Attending all your physical therapy appointments can speed up your recovery and hasten your return to normal activities.
Everyone’s journey to recovery after knee surgery is different. An orthopedic surgeon can provide a more comprehensive list of post-op instructions. Make sure to let them know of any questions and concerns you may have about recovery.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Farmington Hills, Michigan
If you are thinking of getting knee surgery, consult with our orthopedic surgeons at Tri-County Orthopedics today. Dr. Homer C. Linard and Dr. Jack D. Lennox are board-certified orthopedic surgeons who have served the Farmington Hills community for more than 70 years. Dr. Linard and Dr. Lennox take a personalized approach with each patient and make you feel like family, making sure you are clear on what to expect from surgery and recovery. To schedule a consultation with either surgeon, call (248) 474-5575 or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!