How Much Should I Be Walking After A Knee Replacement
Strictly speaking, there is no limit to the amount of walking that you can do following a knee replacement. Your surgeon will not place a distance or time limit on your walking activities, as most patients find that their knee that is still recovering from surgery, and this will limit them instead. Walking is an excellent exercise to help promote recovery and healing in the knee and many patients find that the more walking that they can do, the quicker they recover from the surgery and the more functional they are in the long term. However, walking should also be supplemented with other exercises that demand a greater range of motion out of the knee such as a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer.
Preparation For Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery usually will undergo a pre-operative surgical risk assessment. When necessary, further evaluation will be performed by an internal medicine physician who specializes in pre-operative evaluation and risk-factor modification. Some patients will also be evaluated by an anesthesiologist in advance of the surgery.
Routine blood tests are performed on all pre-operative patients. Chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are obtained in patients who meet certain age and health criteria as well.
Surgeons will often spend time with the patient in advance of the surgery, making certain that all the patients questions and concerns, as well as those of the family, are answered.
The surgeons office should provide a reasonable estimate of:
- the surgeons fee
- the degree to which these should be covered by the patients insurance.
Total Knee Replacement Surgical Team
The total knee requires an experienced orthopedic surgeon and the resources of a large medical center. Some patients have complex medical needs and around surgery often require immediate access to multiple medical and surgical specialties and in-house medical, physical therapy, and social support services.
Finding an experienced surgeon to perform your total knee replacement
Some questions to consider asking your knee surgeon:
- Are you board certified in orthopedic surgery?
- Have you done a fellowship in joint replacement surgery?
- How many knee replacements do you do each year?
What Is Knee Replacement
What is Knee Replacement Used For?
Total knee replacement is usually used:
- To relieve pain caused by severe arthritis
- To restore function to an arthritic knee
- To correct significant deformity
- For severe patellofemoral arthritis
Total knee replacement may be considered when other treatments have failed to relieve the pain, which must be significant and disabling.
About 82% of total knee replacements last 25 years and can be affected by a patients activity levels. The procedure is usually reserved for older patients who perform modest activities or younger patients with limited function due to severe arthritis.
Read Also: Knee Injury Urgent Care Or Er
Start Using The Knee Early
Recovery and rehabilitation must start shortly after you awake from surgery. On the first day, you need to start standing up and walking with an assistive device, like a walker or crutches, with the aid of a physical therapist. Use your artificial knee as soon as you can. Your therapist will guide you through exercises that will increase the strength of your muscles, as well as help you get in and out of bed.
Keep The Knee Straight
While it may not be incredibly comfortable, it’s important that you keep your knee joint completely straight immediately after your surgery. You should minimize the amount of time you’re on your feet, and be sure to use crutches or a wheelchair if you must move about. When seated and lying down, keep your leg straight out in front of you, with no bend in the joint. It’s important that you give the joint ample time to heal your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to begin bending and moving the joint.
Don’t Miss: Do Copper Knee Braces Really Work
When Can A Patient Return To Work
This is a common question after knee replacement surgery and entirely depends on the nature of work the patient performs as part of their occupation. For those patients who work in jobs that are relatively sedentary such as office work, returning to work after 2 to 3 weeks is perfectly reasonable however, for patients whose work demands more of them physically, e.g., fireman, police officer, these patients are usually recommended to wait at least 6 weeks before returning to work.
This is because muscle recovery is usually sufficient by 6 weeks to allow for the normal duties of these more physically demanding occupations at this point in time. However, it is also a case that even for the more physically demanding occupations, if a modification of these duties is available to the patients for the postoperative recovery period then this would potentially allow for an early return to work.
Is A Knee Replacement Painful
Knee replacement surgery is a common orthopedic surgery in the U.S. with the number of surgeries performed each year expected to hit 1 million by 2040. Knee replacement surgery is proven to provide pain relief, improve mobility and quality of life, but it has a reputation of being painful. Patients considering this procedure are often hesitant because theyve heard that the surgery itself has a long recovery time and they wonder if the pain and time recovering will be worth the benefits.
Are you considering knee replacement surgery? Lets first look at the facts- Most knee replacements are expected to last more than 15 years, and according to recent statistics, three to six weeks after surgery is the average time it will take to resume to most daily activities.
You May Like: How To Restore Knee Cartilage Naturally
Tips To Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery
Nearly half of American adults will develop knee arthritis at some point during their lives. Pain, stiffness, and limited mobility are often the result of knee arthritis. Knee replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore function when your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury. The average recovery time from knee replacement surgery is approximately six months, but it can take roughly 12 months to fully return to physically demanding activities. Though the recovery process can be long, there are steps you can take to heal well and enhance your recovery speed.
How Long Does It Take To Recover After A Hip Replacement
On average, hip replacement recovery can take around two to four weeks, but everyone is different, says Thakkar. It depends on a few factors, including how active you were before your surgery, your age, nutrition, preexisting conditions, and other health and lifestyle factors.
Achieving a certain level of activity before you have the surgery can help you bounce back more quickly, shares Thakkar. We use a regimen called prerehabilitation, or prehab, to help patients get in a physical shape that will set them up for a successful recovery.
Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery | Q& A with Savya Thakkar, M.D.
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Knee Replacement Recovery Continues Once Youre Home
Even though hospital stays for knee replacement surgery are shorter than they used to be, getting back on your feet still takes time, says Dr. Parks.
The next phase of recovery continues at home, as patients begin acclimating to normal activities, such as moving between rooms, getting up and sitting down in furniture, and using the bathroom. While everyone is different, many patients are likely to have similar experiences during the early weeks of recovery.
For Barnes, stability was a big issue. I became very aware of where I was placing feet, for example, when stepping off a curb. I just felt a little clumsy early on after surgery so I was afraid of falling.
In addition, she experienced a lot of swelling. The hospital gave me a special brace that circulates cold water around the knee, which was great and helped with swelling, she says.
Whether your doctor has prescribed formal outpatient physical therapy or has entrusted you with an at-home regimen of walking and exercises, patients progressing through recovery achieve some big milestones along the way.
Why Is My Knee So Tight After Surgery
Arthrofibrosis is also known as stiff knee syndrome. The condition sometimes occurs in a knee joint that has recently been injured. It can also occur after surgery on the knee, such as a knee replacement. Over time, scar tissue builds up inside the knee, causing the knee joint to shrink and tighten.
Knee Replacement Recovery Timeline
Immediately following the knee replacement surgery, depending on the type of anesthetic that you received, you will either wake up or come around from any sedating medications that you have been given during the surgery in the recovery room. Your knee will be wrapped in bandages and a surgical dressing. If you received a spinal anesthetic for the knee replacement, you will still be numb through approximately your waist downwards at this stage. If you received a general anesthetic, you will not be numb and you may notice soreness and pain in the knee at this point in time. Patients who receive a spinal anesthetic usually find that this wears off after approximately 8 hours and this is the point at which those patients will notice soreness in the knee.
Provided that you recover well in the recovery room without any complications, you will be transferred to a ward and they will begin your postoperative pain medication regimen after your arrival. During your inpatient stay, you will be aided by physical therapist and nurses as well as other healthcare professionals in getting back on your feet and mobilizing, usually with a gait aid such as a Zimmer frame or a cane, or a rollator walker.
What Does Knee Replacement Surgery Involve
The team at Tri-State Orthopaedics provide the latest advancements in treating chronic knee problems. When conservative options arent enough, your provider may recommend knee replacement surgery. Also called arthroplasty, this procedure involves replacing the structure of the damaged knee joint with metal and plastic parts to restore the normal function of the knee and relieve chronic pain.
Knee replacement is an incredibly common and successful procedure. Over 90% of people who have knee replacement experience significant improvement in pain and their ability to get around. For most people, knee replacement restores a good quality of life, giving back independence and allowing you to engage in activities you used to enjoy. However, recovery is often a long road. If youre scheduled for or considering knee surgery, here are some helpful dos and donts in your path to recovery.
You May Like: Stiff Knee Joints After Sitting
What Are Risks And Complications Of Knee Replacement
Complications of knee replacement surgery include:
- Blood clot in the deep veins of the leg
- A DVT can be deadly if it travels to the lungs so see a doctor if you have symptoms that could indicate a DVT, such as leg pain or swelling
How Soon Can I Return To Regular Activities After A Hip Replacement
The goal of physical therapy is to get you back to your normal life, whether its going to work, playing with kids, or engaging in your favorite sport or hobby. Depending on the amount of physical activity a task requires, the amount of time it will take to be able to perform that task differs.
- Driving. If you had surgery on your right hip, it may take up to a month to be able to drive safely again. If it was your left hip, then you might be back in the drivers seat in one or two weeks. Start in a parking lot and slowly move to rural roads, working your way up to the highway. Taking medications that may impair your coordination, such as opioids, might delay how soon you can go back to driving.
- Work. If you have a desk job with minimal activity, you can return to work in about two weeks. If your job requires heavy lifting or is otherwise tough on the hips, it is recommended to take off about six weeks to recover.
- Sports. For sports with minimal activity, such as golf, you can return when you feel comfortable. For high impact contact sports you should wait about six weeks to get back in the game. Before getting into a pool, you should also wait about six weeks until the incision completely heals.
- Sexual Activity. You can return to sexual activity whenever you feel comfortable.
Don’t Miss: How To Pop Your Knee
Why Do I Have A Problem With My Patella
Her left kneecap was getting way off track, but not quite dislocating. This is called subluxation. In fact, both her patellae have this problem. The left subluxes most often, but the right actually dislocates. Shes had several falls right onto her knees. Both knees hurt, and shes having trouble getting up and down stairs.
In most cases, the kneecap shifts to the outside of the leg, but it can also move towards the inside. Heres what you need to know about patellar tracking disorder and keeping your knees healthy.
How Long Will I Need Pain Medication After Total Knee Replacement
Pain, swelling, and bruising are all normal after knee replacement surgery, both for partial and total knee replacements. Youll be sent home with oral pain medications after your surgery, which youll take for several weeks after your surgery.
The most commonly prescribed pain medications after knee replacement surgery include prescription-strength naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. If those commonly used pain relievers dont provide enough relief, your doctor can prescribe something stronger, such as hydrocodone or an opioid pain killer. Narcotics are addictive pain relievers and can be taken safely after surgery but the duration of these drugs if chosen for use, should be limited as much as possible. Please speak with your physician prior to surgery in regards to the pain protocols that will be used postoperatively
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Scar Tissue In Knee
How Do You Know If You Need Knee Replacement Surgery
Each patient is unique, which is why it is essential to schedule an examination and testing with an experienced sports medicine doctor. Our team will determine a diagnosis before deciding if you need to schedule a date for surgery. The preference is always to use minimally-invasive treatments first before surgery is necessary.
But there are times when surgery is required. Whether the minimally-invasive treatments arent working, or youve had a severe injury, you might need to schedule surgery to achieve the recovery you desire.
Waste Time On The Easy Exercises
Its simple. Human beings seek pleasure and avoid pain. The harder exercises like bending your knee) can be tough but they get massively better each day if you just stay at it. Many people are adept at avoiding the tough exercises by working extra on the easy exercises and guess what they will prolong their recovery time from total knee replacement, an outcome that virtually no one wants.
Read Also: Copper Care Knee Brace Reviews
Who Should Consider Total Knee Replacement Surgery
It is usually reasonable to try a number of non-operative interventions before considering knee replacement surgery of any type. Prior to surgery an orthopedic surgeon may offer medications knee injections or exercises. A surgeon may talk to patients about activity modification weight loss or use of a cane.
The decision to undergo the total knee replacement is a “quality of life” choice. Patients typically have the procedure when they find themselves avoiding activities that they used to enjoy because of knee pain. When basic activities of daily life–like walking shopping or reasonable recreational pastimes–are inhibited or prevented by the knee pain it may be reasonable to consider the surgery.
What Causes An Acute Patellar Injury In The Knee
Acute patellar injuries can occur as a result of trauma, sports activities, or anatomical problems within the knee joint. The location of the patella at the front of the knee makes it vulnerable to fracture, dislocation, or tendon tears during falls, blows to the knee, or sharp impacts such as with the dashboard in a car accident.
Also Check: Flying After Knee Replacements
Here Is An Overview Of What You Can Expect During These 12 Weeks:
- Days 1 3: In the hospital, you will work with a physical therapist and occupational therapist to work on straightening and bending the knee.
- Discharge Day: Most people are discharged from the hospital within a few days. You will be sent home with specific instructions for care, medication, and therapy.
- Week 3: By the time you reach week three, you will be able to move around a little more, and the pain will be decreasing.
- Weeks 4 6: The most noticeable improvements in your knee happen during this time if you are consistent with your rehab and exercise activities.
- Weeks 7 11: Physical therapy and rehabilitation continue. At this point, you will be working on range of motion, mobility, and strengthening the muscles.
- Week 12: You can start to return to normal activities but still need to avoid high-impact exercise .
Beyond this initial recovery time, you will notice that the pain will continue to decrease, and your function will improve.