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How Long Does Knee Replacement Recovery Take

What Not To Do After Knee Replacement

How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

After undergoing a partial or total knee replacement, there are certain movements to refrain from to avoid re-injuring your knee or causing pain.

Avoid any risk of falling After knee surgery, it will take a while before you regain strength and balance in the leg, making you more likely to experience a fall. Avoid activities like climbing ladders and take care to hold on to handrails when using stairs. Hiking or walking on the uneven ground should also be avoided until your knee is properly healed.

Dont sit for long periods Sitting for long periods after knee replacement surgery is correlated with a higher risk of blood clots. Make sure youre getting enough light activity to support healing after your operation.

Running Running puts three times the amount of pressure on the knee as walking. Avoid running while youre healing from knee replacement surgery until cleared to do so by your doctor.

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Looking After Your New Knee

  • continue to take any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain and swelling
  • use your walking aids but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
  • keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
  • do not sit with your legs crossed for the first 6 weeks after your operation
  • do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as this can result in a permanently bent knee
  • avoid twisting at your knee
  • wear supportive shoes outdoors
  • do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
  • raise your leg when sitting and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours to reduce any swelling

Page last reviewed: 02 August 2019 Next review due: 02 August 2022

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What happens if you dont have knee replacement surgery? Lajam worries that people who try to live with the pain for too long will see their independence and health suffer. They could become more sedentary, lose control of conditions like diabetes and gain weight and those factors all increase risk for complications from surgery.

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Prepare Your Home Before Surgery

Its a good idea to prepare your home for your recovery before you go to the hospital for your surgery. That way, when you return with a walker or cane, you can easily move around your living space. Also, youll want to be sure to have a comfortable chair and ottoman where you can rest and elevate your knee, so you dont have to stay in bed.

Why Would I Need Surgery

Recovering Total Knee Replacement Surgery, Healing, Rehab

Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilageâ the cushion between the knee and the bone joints â breaks down.

Other reasons include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is when the bodyâs immune system attacks and destroys the lining of the knee.
  • Deformities: People with bowed legs or âknock-kneesâ often get surgery to restore the position of the knee.
  • Knee injuries: A broken bone or torn ligaments around the knee sometimes will result in arthritis that causes great pain and limits your movement.

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Rehab Begins One Step At A Time

Rehab after knee surgery begins slowly, but almost immediately. Its important to get in and out of bed that same day, walk a few steps, and learn how to use the continuous passive motion machine, which youll also be using at home as you start the recovery process.

Within the first 24 hours after surgery, you begin standing and walking on your new knee with the help of a walker and your physical therapist. We start you off with gentle, muscle-strengthening exercises and guide you through each move so you know how to safely take your first steps with your new knee.

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Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery

Outpatient physical therapy is typically prescribed after discharge and will usually begin within a week of surgery. A physical therapist will teach the patient:

  • Knee strengthening exercises
  • Knee exercises to encourage range of motion and reduce scar tissue
  • How to use assistive walking devices, such as a walker and cane

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Returning To Activities / Sports

With knee replacement recovery time is one of the biggest healers. Over time the swelling will reduce, your muscles will get stronger and your knee should free up becoming more flexible than beforehand.

It is important to take things easy for the first few weeks but after that, you can start thinking about returning to your favorite activities. Here are some helpful tips on knee replacement recovery time:

  • You can resume most activities after 6-12 weeks, for example swimming
  • Some activities should be carried out with care e.g. golf dont wear shoes with spikes
  • Some activities are not advised following a total knee replacement as they put too much stress on the new knee joint. These include: jogging, contact sports e.g. basketball and football, squash, badminton, jumping activities and skiing. If you are unsure, discuss things with your doctor.

Pain and swelling can take up to 3 months to settle and knee replacement recovery time continues up to 2 years after your operation.

What Could Slow Down My Recovery

Why Does It Take so Long to Recover from a Knee Replacement?

As with any surgery, there is some risk of complications during and after a hip replacement, which may include infection at the incision site, bone fractures and hip dislocations, explains Thakkar. If you notice a fever, drainage from the incision site, difficulty moving your hip or severe pain that is not relieved by your medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Taking rehabilitation at a comfortable pace and avoiding sudden, sharp movements can help prevent dislocations and falls that may delay the recovery.

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What To Expect When Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery

Whether youre an athlete, someone who enjoys an active leisure lifestyle, or you simply want to walk your dog every day without pain, knee replacement surgery can help you get your life back. When the time is right for you to replace an injured or diseased knee for a new, functional one, Dr. Jeremy Woodson, an expert orthopedic sports medicine surgeon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and his highly qualified team are here to guide you through the entire process.

Heres what to expect during your recovery from knee replacement surgery.

Causes Of Below Knee Amputations

Below knee amputation surgery is generally performed if a persons lower extremity or foot has been severely injured or if he or she suffers from chronic and sever pain in the foot or lower extremity. Causes are generally related to the following:

While there are many additional reasons a person may choose below knee amputation, those listed above are most common .

Below knee amputation surgery is a serious undertaking aimed at resolving complicated or life-threatening issues in the foot or other parts of the leg below the knee. Any decision to amputate involves multiple factors and should include many discussions between the patient and their team of doctors..

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What To Expect During Recovery

Many patients considering a total knee replacement want to know how long walking again will take. Fortunately, walking with an assisted device such as a walker, cane, or crutches will begin within 24 hours of surgery. If all goes well, patients are discharged home within 2-3 days after surgery. Physical therapy can be completed at an outpatient clinic or at home. Full rehabilitation will take approximately 8 weeks.

Motivation To Regain Physical Function

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And finally, Dr. Courtney sees another factor speeding recovery for certain patients. Motivation is big one, especially with knee replacement surgery, he says. If patients are involved in sports, like golf, tennis, or swimming, their motivation to get back to their activities plays an important role.

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Provide Motivation For Rehab And Exercises

Adhering to a rehab plan is critical. For many people, this means walking for 30 minutes two or three times per day. Doctors may also recommend exercising for an extra 20 to 30 minutes two or three times per day.

The person may find that walking or exercising is painful. This is normal. If they express a desire to discontinue with their rehabilitation plan, remind them that what theyre feeling is common and that rehab will help speed up their recovery.

Helping them chart their efforts, results, and progress may help keep them motivated. Exercising and walking with them may also help keep them on track.

Continue To Exercise: 7

Low-impact exercises like swimming, weight training, and cycling are ideal until Dr. Woodson gives you the go-ahead for more intense workouts. Again, everyone is different, so listen to your body to know when to rest. You want to make steady progress, but you dont want to injure your knee or create a setback for yourself because you pushed too hard, too soon.

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How Soon Can I Get Up After Surgery

The first stage of total knee replacement recovery is to get you moving again. Your physical therapist will help you to get up on the day of your operation, or the following day. You may need to use crutches or a frame initially when walking but that should only be for a few days. In most cases, you can put as much weight through your knee as feels comfortable after a TKR.

It may feel strange being up on your feet initially, but it usually doesn’t take long to get going and most people only need to use walking aids for a few days.

Start Using The Knee Early

Why Does It Take So Long to Recover from a Knee Replacement?

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.

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The Biggest Mistake With Pain Managment

The biggest mistake most people make is not utilizing the opioids to their fullest extent early when they are really needed, focusing on restoring range of motion first and foremost. If the range task lingers, so will the opioid use, they go together hand in glove.

If youve restored your range of motion and are slowly progressed your strength exercises you should not have a great deal of pain going forward.

The longer one takes an opioid prescription, the more difficult it will be to get off opioids after knee replacement surgery, which leads into this next section about the consequences of using a lot of opioid pain medication prior to surgery.

The Oxford Partial Knee Replacement Recovery Time Even Shorter

In many cases today, a TKR is not required. If only one part of the knee is worn out, the patient may be a candidate for a partial replacement, which requires a much smaller incision than a TKR and shorter recovery time.

An Oxford partial knee replacement is a minimally-invasive procedure with excellent results. In fact, the results proved so positive that the Oxford is the first partial knee implant with a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer.

Patients say there is no comparison in the partial knee replacement recovery time, post-surgery pain, and natural motion of the new knee. Read patient testimonials here.

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How Long Does Knee Replacement Surgery Take

Wanting to learn more about how long knee replacement surgery takes to perform? Ill share my surgery time when I had TKR.

My actual knee replacement surgery took approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to perform. This included falling asleep just before surgery and when I woke up.

However, the process for TKR Surgery actually begins the night before your surgery. After dinner you are no longer able to eat or drink liquids.

You also have been given a bathing kit with directions. Thenight before you go to bed, you are instructed to thoroughly wash your body withthe soap and washcloths that they provide.

The next morning you are instructed to bathe again exactlylike the night before. Then, you are off to the hospital.

If everything goes well, expect to be home the next day.Below Ill share a few more details of my experience.

Who Should Consider Total Knee Replacement Surgery

5 Tips for Recovery from 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.

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What Activities Can I Do

In the early stages of total knee replacement recovery you should stick to activities that dont put too much force through the knee. Activities such as walking, swimming and gently cycling are all fine.

Start off slowly and gradually increase how much you do being guided by your knee. Gentle exercise is an important part of total knee replacement recovery as using the leg and strengthening the muscles helps the recovery process.

Higher impact activities such as running and sports should be avoided for the first 2-3 months. Don’t be tempted to rush your total knee replacement recovery.

What To Expect From Total Knee Replacement Surgery

A total knee replacement should relieve knee pain and increase your ability to bend your knee. You should notice a difference shortly after surgery. You will have some pain from the surgical cut, however. This pain will decrease steadily over time. After a few weeks, you should be able to perform the tasks of daily living.

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What You Need To Know About Surgery And Recovery

How long does knee replacement surgery take? Generally, the procedure takes about an hour, Wang said: Its not a long surgery anymore. Surgical techniques have improved over the years, so theres less disruption to muscles and tendons. And advances in anesthesia and pain control make recovering from knee replacement surgery easier.

For some patients, knee replacement is an outpatient procedure they have surgery in the morning and go home later that same day. Others will generally spend one night in the hospital.

Knee Replacement Recovery Phase : Hospital Stay And Discharge

How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

A typical hospital stay after a knee arthroplasty ranges anywhere from 1-3 days. Some patients even leave the same day, which depends on the type of procedure that is performed.

The reason knee replacement surgeries are so successful is because of their relatively low risk of complications. A majority of your hospital stay will include surgeons and hospital staff working hard to prevent complications such as infection, blood clots, pain, hardware issues, and neurovascular injuries.

While your healthcare team continues to monitor and prevent complications, patients can expect to start rehabilitation soon after the surgery. Within 24 hours, patients will work with a physical therapist to begin standing and walking again. Lack of confidence is very common during this time, so crutches and walkers help provide that extra support many patients require.

Another standard device used amongst the knee replacement population is a continuous passive motion machine. This machine helps provide your knee with a constant motion to prevent scar tissue buildup and stiffness from being immobile. You can expect your surgeon or physical therapist to help educate you about this device and how to use it at home.

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What Is Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement surgery replaces parts of the knee joint with artificial parts.

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.

Stay Connected With Your Surgeon

Lajam asks her patients to come in for an x-ray, or at least call and check in, every year or two for life. Mechanical pieces can fail, or you could trip or fall and knock something loose and damage it and make it wear faster, she said.

If your implant gets worn or damaged, you can consider a revision knee replacement surgery. Whats a revision knee replacement surgery? Its a procedure to replace some or all of the artificial joint if it becomes damaged or worn. Surgeons can replace just the plastic piece if thats whats needed, or the entire implant if the damage is more severe.

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