Will I Need To Use Crutches Or Other Assistive Devices After Knee Replacement Surgery
Yes. And depending on the type of surgery youve had , youll probably need to use an assistive device for at least a few weeks during recovery.
Assistive devices make certain activities like walking, using the restroom and dressing easier to do. They also help keep you safe.
The types of assistive devices youll need after knee replacement surgery depend on your condition, but common devices include:
- Walking aids like crutches, canes or walkers
- Shoehorns and sock aids
- Raised toilet seat
- Tub chair
The good news is some assistive devices may be covered by your insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance provider before you go in for surgery.
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.
This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knees strength, stability, and range of motion. A variety of surgical techniques and prostheses can be used, depending on your weight, age, knee size and shape, activity level, and overall health.
How Long Will I Be On Pain Medication After My Knee Replacement Surgery
Every patient experiences recovery from a knee replacement surgery differentially and as such, everyone will require pain medication at different intervals and for different amounts of time. There is no standard approach to this, although generally we do expect patients to be weaned off their narcotic analgesics within 2 to 3 weeks of the surgery and by 6 weeks after the surgery should only be requiring occasional Tylenol or a less potent analgesic to control their pain.
With that being said, there are a number of different factors that can affect a persons ability to tolerate pain medication or indeed their ability to have the pain medication kill their pain. As such, each medication regimen will be tailored to the individual. It is important to regularly communicate with your surgeon or healthcare provider regarding your experience of the pain and your current pain medication regimen, so that it can be altered to suit you and your needs.
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Total Knee Replacement Recovery
Reviewed by:;KPE Medical Review Board
Total knee replacement recovery varies from person to person but is generally very positive.;;
Most people are up and about within a day or two and are home after 3-5 days. Full recovery after a knee replacement can take up to a year but most of this recovery is seen in the first three months.
People often have lots of questions about total knee replacement recovery, and if possible, it helps to have those questions answered before you go in for surgery so that you know what to expect.;
Time Off Work After A Knee Replacement
Its important to take time off to rest, but getting back to your routine as soon as possible can help you recover faster. If you have a desk job, youll be able to return to work after around 8 weeks. If you job is more physically demanding, youll need to wait around 12 weeks. If youre not sure, check with your doctor.
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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.
Can I Avoid Or Postpone A Knee Replacement
The choice on whether to have surgery to address arthritis of the knee joint depends on multiple factors, including:
- the condition of the knee joint
- the patientâs age and activity level
In cases where the damage from arthritis is minimal, and/or if the patient does not have a very active lifestyle, nonsurgical treatments by be tried, including:
- physical therapy
- , such as ibuprofen
- weight loss to reduce pressure on the knee
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Move Your Sleeping Quarters
Sleep is essential to surgery recovery, but you might need to make some adjustments.
Stairs can be tough to manage after knee surgery. You might consider converting a main floor space into a temporary bedroom to limit having to walk up the stairs.
Dont plan to spend all your time in bed. Getting up and moving around is important for your recovery. Making the distinction between night and day will also help you maintain a regular sleeping pattern.
Knee Replacement Range Of Motion
Knee swelling will limit knee flexibility, but there is also healing and scarring of tissues to consider that will prevent a knee from bending and straightening. ;Patients need to slowly improve their flexibility so their knee does not heal stiff, but at the same time not push too much that they are aggravating the recovery and causing more swelling.
The normal knee range of motion is 0 degrees of knee extension to 135 degrees of knee flexion . It is not unusual for someone to have 5-10 degrees of hyperextension and knee flexion varies anywhere from 120-150 degrees.
The expected range of motion after knee replacement is 0 degrees of knee extension to at least 115 degrees of flexion or greater, but this can take several weeks or months to achieve. Starting out, the goal is to get the knee to bend to 90 degrees within the first week and then improve 5 to 10 degrees each week after that until full flexion is reached. Again, this timeline is variable from patient to patient.
It is important to achieve full knee extension for walking to feel more natural and have less knee pain. If you dont achieve full extension, it will feel like youre walking with 1 leg shorter than the other.
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Knee Replacement Recovery Time: First 3 Months
For 6-8 weeks after knee replacement surgery you should avoid:
- Any pivoting on your knee
You will need to continue with your knee replacement rehab programme for at least 3 months after knee replacement surgery, probably six months to get the best result from your operation.
You will be able to progress your exercises as your knee gets stronger and more flexible. Visit the rehab section to find out more. The more you stick to your exercise programme, the quicker your knee replacement recovery is likely be.
Knee Extension Stretches And Exercises
Expect to perform a variation of these knee extension exercises:
- Quad Sets
- Seated calf stretch with towel/belt
- Standing TKE
Some patients will use a continuous passive movement machine that will repeatedly assist bending and straightening your knee slowly for hours each day for a couple weeks until they have reached a desired range of motion.
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Genicular Nerve Block With Radiofrequency Ablation
Instead of more invasive surgical options, many patients turn to a genicular nerve block to treat and diagnose persistent knee pain. A genicular nerve block uses anesthetic injected into one or more of the genicular nerves to interrupt pain signals being sent to the brain.
Unfortunately, a genicular nerve blocks effects only last eight to 24 hours. Doctors use genicular nerve blocks to test the effectiveness of the procedure on a persons knee pain. Many patients who experience relief with genicular nerve blocks will then get radiofrequency ablation. When combined, these two procedures can offer pain relief that lasts anywhere from six months to a year.
How Long Does Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery Take
When patients and their orthopedic surgeons agree that knee replacement surgery is a good option, one of the first questions or concerns usually is how long will the recovery process take? The simple answer would be about 13 weeks to recover. This timeline is dependant on a lot of factors such as type of procedure, limiting complications, and being consistent with their doctor and physical therapy visits.
Patients typically have a good understanding of the benefits of having a knee replaced, but they also appreciate knowing what is required to reach those benefits. A knee replacement, otherwise known as knee arthroplasty, is one of the most successful surgeries performed throughout the world. If you want to be a part of the 90% of people with a well-functioning knee, 15 years post-surgery, understanding each part of the recovery process can help you with that goal.;
Balanced Physical Therapy has combined real-world experience with proven clinical research from around the internet to help you better understand each part of the recovery process, specific timelines for recovery, and why each element is essential.;
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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.
Knee Replacement Recovery Phase : Weeks 13 And Beyond
After 13 weeks since your surgery, most patients are happy to see the finish line. Some patients may still be attending physical therapy to reach the goals you set entirely, while others are safe for discharge. Both scenarios are expected, and it varies from person to person.
Providing you have not experienced any major setbacks or complications, pain should be almost nonexistent. It is a good idea to still check in with your healthcare team. If you have pain, swelling, stiffness, or unusual movement, it is always best to call your doctor immediately.
At Balanced Physical Therapy, we understand how important fully recovering from knee surgery is to our patients. From your first evaluation, we take the time to understand everything about you and your condition. Our treatments consist of one-on-one therapy with board-certified physical therapists who are always willing to help. Call us at 741-5806 or visit our Appointments page to schedule an evaluation.
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How Long Will I Need Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery
Physical therapy is one of the key parts of your recovery. Physical therapists like myself use a combination of exercises, education and hands-on care to strengthen your body, teach you how to avoid injury and help you learn how to use your new knees.
Youll start regularly working with physical therapists within the first week after surgery. At TRIA, well work with you to develop a personalized therapy plan, which usually involves about three months of meeting with your physical therapist.
These first three months of physical therapy after knee replacement surgery are critical to setting you up for a successful recovery. And many of the moves you learn will be useful long-term to keep your joint feeling good.
Treatment plans are unique to each patient, but heres what you can expect:
One to three weeks after surgery
The first few weeks after knee replacement surgery your physical therapist will focus on helping you reduce pain and feel more confident on your feet.
Youll start working on a daily routine of strengthening and flexibility exercises with your physical therapist. During this time, youll also work on bending your knees, getting up from a sitting position and walking.
Typically, youll be able to bend your knees at a 90 degree angle, fully straighten your knee, and walk for at least 10 consecutive minutes during this stage of physical therapy.
Four to six weeks after surgery
Seven to 12 weeks after surgery
12 weeks after surgery and beyond
What Not To Do After A Knee Replacement
As previously mentioned, removing the dressings too early or before you are instructed to do so by your healthcare provider will increase the risk of developing an infection. This is important to avoid and as such leaving your dressings and following the postoperative care instructions that you are given is essential.
Trying to do too much too quickly is a common scenario particularly in younger patients. Recovery from the knee replacement is a slow process and many patients want to be back to a baseline level of activity within a few weeks of the surgery. This is simply not possible and we would encourage you to be patient and consistent with your exercises and rehabilitation protocols. Regular communication with your surgeon or healthcare provider if you have any concerns will be able to reassure you of your progress through the process of recovering.
Avoid trying to enter into sporting activity too quickly. Although it does frustrate patients when find they are unable to perform their sports as quickly as they want after the surgery, it can also put you at risk of developing an injury around tissues that are still in the process of healing. This can cause problematic injuries such as disruptions to your extensor mechanism of your knee and even periprosthetic fractures. These are major injuries that usually require surgical intervention and should be avoided at all costs.
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Exercise And Physical Activity
The final phase of recovery, as Dr. Parks considers it, is returning to exercises and extra activities, including hiking and biking. It typically takes eight to 12 weeks to get to this phase, he says.
In terms of full knee replacement recovery, patients generally need a year to completely heal and regain total function.
After a couple of years, you forget that youve even had knee surgery, says Barnes, who would go on to have her left knee replaced a year after the surgery on her right. Before surgery I couldnt garden. Now I walk, snow shoe, and climb ladders. I do what I want and dont have pain.
Icing After Knee Replacement
Ever wondered why Ice machine is on best 20 knee replacement gifts list, because of this very problem of knee replacement swelling.
Let me tell you ice will help you in many ways, including edema or fluid reduction and pain control.
Whenever you apply ice to the body part, it has four sequential effects on that body part: Cold, Burning, Aching, and Numbness.
The icing on the operated knee can result in blood vessel constriction, and thus it helps with swelling control after knee surgery. It also enables you to control pain after a knee replacement by numbing the nerves in the area.
One of the common questions asked is how long to ice after knee replacement surgery? The usual answer is 15-20 min for 2 to 3 times a day. However, you should consult with your doctor if you have any medical complications like diabetes or skin sensation issues.
Just a word of caution for proper incision care since icing can make area wet.
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Eight Facts: All About The Recovery Time For Total Knee Replacement
The knee is the largest joint of the body and it is responsible for many of the common functions that we rely on to get through daily life. Have you ever considered what life would be like without your knees? We often dont even realize just how much work these important joints do for us on a daily basis. From supporting the bodys weight, to squatting, pivoting and more, the knees are essential parts of a healthy, active body.;
- Severe, chronic pain
- Surrounding muscle weakness
- Reduced function and limited range of motion
Where to Have SurgeryFacts About the Recovery Time for Total Knee ReplacementAfter ten years, a well-performed knee replacement surgery has a 98% chance of success!
For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
Alternatives To Total Knee Replacement Surgery
There are several different conservative or less invasive options that may be attempted prior to having a total knee replacement.
Injections are often used in an;attempt to decrease inflammation, friction, and pain in the joint. Surgical options to consider aim to preserve or restructure remaining tissue and to prevent or put off a total knee replacement.
Physical Therapists provide non-invasive treatment options to improve strength, flexibility, and body mechanics for functional activities to reduce knee pain. PTs can also educate patients on an exercise program for improving body composition.
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Who Performs Knee Replacement Surgery
If you need knee replacement surgery, then an orthopedic surgeon is the type of doctor you must see. Here at Orthopedic Associates, we offer a range of doctors, physical therapists, and sports medicine specialists to help you manage the pain and recover as effectively as possible.
Our team offers three knee replacement surgeries:
- Total Knee Replacement Surgery
- Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
- Revision Knee Replacement Surgery
Additionally, we have other joint replacement procedures for different types of sports medicine injuries and other orthopedic concerns:
- Reverse Shoulder Joint Replacement Surgery
- Shoulder Joint Replacement Surgery
- Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery
- Partial Hip Replacement Surgery