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How Long Off Work For Knee Replacement

Naively Trusting Your Recovery To Rehab Professionals

When can I return to work after knee replacement surgery?

This is the toughest one for people to understand. The medical model is focused on you being treated by rehabilitation professionals on an intermittent basis.

This frequency is by necessity low because it is costly. At most you will be seen twice a day in a rehab facility, daily to start with in home care and then usually 2-3 times per week for further home care and then in outpatient therapy.

The problem is that you will have the most success and get well the quickest if you perform your knee replacement recovery exercises 4x a day. What you really need to get into your head is that you are responsible for your success and refuse to adopt the traditional knee replacement rehab timetable which will ultimately slow down your progress.

Recovery From Knee Replacement

Following your operation youll be able to go home when your pain is under control, you can get about safely, and any care you may need has been arranged.

Your wound is likely to take 10-14 days to heal. It may take up to 6 weeks to recover from the operation. It can take up to 12 months before you are back to normal activities.

The Ability To Make A Living

The researchers made an interesting statement in their conclusion: Total knee replacement surgery is being performed on an increasingly younger population of knee osteoarthritis patients for whom participating in work is of critical importance. . . .clinicians should be aware that proxies for participating in work go beyond outcomes like pain or function.

In other words, patients will go back to work, if they can, regardless of pain and function improvements. We find that for many patients we see, it is the ability to make a living. They have to work.

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How Long Before I Can Return To Work After A Joint Replacement

Jan 2, 2018 | Patient

With joint replacements happening on younger and younger patients, more and more people must factor a return to work into their recovery. The goal of getting back to work is a top concern for many patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Recovering quickly before your sick leave expires, or you lose out on too much potential income, or lose your job entirely, can be a major stressor .

To help you get a better understanding of how long youll need to play hooky for, weve put together this short return to work guide after joint replacement surgery.

Read on to get a better idea of when you should aim to get back to work, how you can get back to work faster , and tips for easing back into your 9-5 schedule.

97% of patients who were working preoperatively went back to work within 6 months of their surgery date.

Going Home After A Knee Replacement

How long do I need to stay in hospital after a knee ...

Youll be able to leave as soon as you can safely walk up and down stairs on crutches, and the healthcare team are happy you are medically fit. You wont be able to drive, so youll need someone to come and take you home.

Well train you to manage stairs in the following way:

  • Use a handrail where possible with a walking aid in the opposite hand
  • If going down stairs, move the crutch or stick onto the lower step, put your weight on the crutch or stick as you move your operated leg onto the step alongside it
  • Bring your non-operated leg onto the same step and repeat
  • Do the opposite on the way back up.
  • Find out more about getting out of the car with crutches and getting into bed with crutches.

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    How Long Did You Take Off Work


    I had a partial replacement 4.5 weeks ago. Before hand I was told I would need 6 weeks off. However physio said this is very optimistic, more likely 8 weeks.

    My bend is 90 degrees but extension still at -10. Pain is bearable but some days worse than others.

    I am so incredibly tired though and still falling asleep in the day. The thought of being back at work in 10 days scares me .

    Interested to know when others went back to work and how was it?


    Learn What To Expect And How To Prepare From The Doctors Who Perform This Operation Every Day And The Patients Who Have Been Through Knee Surgery Successfully

    If your knee arthritis has gotten so bad that your medication and physical therapy are no longer enough to keep the pain at bay or prevent mobility issues, it is a good time to consider knee replacement surgery. The procedure has come a long way from the extended hospital stays, bed rest, and narcotics-based pain relief of the past.

    Fifteen to 20 years ago we told patients to wait until they could no longer take the pain of osteoarthritis to consider surgery, but thats not the case anymore, says P. Maxwell Courtney, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. With todays advances, minimally invasive techniques, and accelerated rehab and recovery protocols, we now tell patients if the pain is limiting your daily activities and youve exhausted conservative options like injections and physical therapy its time to consider surgery.

    That was certainly the case for Sharon Barnes, a teacher from Maine whose pain got so bad she couldnt sleep. My doctor said I had osteoarthritis in both knees it was literally bone on bone, she remembers. We did hyaluronic acid injections, and that got me about a year then didnt work as well. Thats when we started discussing surgery.

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    How Long You Need Physical Therapy After A Knee Replacement

    In the previous 100 years, knee replacements have been recognized as some of the most effective medical procedures and breakthroughs in the world. They are also the most often done elective surgery in the United States, with around 1,000,000 individuals receiving the treatment each year. Physical therapy is required during the recovery process. Many people who have undergone this treatment are curious about what physical therapy is and how long it will last following a knee replacement procedure.

    What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery Overview Sports Medicine

    How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Knee Replacement?

    Having to arrange a knee replacement surgery may appear to be a frightening process. However, the reality is that this operation is really successful and is relatively widespread in the sports medical sector today. Technology has advanced significantly in recent years, allowing us to take advantage of innovative operations and medical treatments that deliver more impressive outcomes than ever before. Knee replacement surgery, for example, is a recent development that involves inserting a prosthesis into a joint in order to restore function.

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    Physical Therapy Is Crucial To Your Return To An Active Lifestyle

    It helps to think of knee replacement surgery as the first step of your journey to a pain-free, more active lifestyle. After you schedule your surgery, make a commitment to take an active role in your rehabilitation in the weeks and months that follow. Physical therapy is essential to getting back on your feet and helping you resume your desired activity level.

    Tips For A Smoother Recovery

    Physicians and patients share their insights for safely and efficiently getting back on your feet:

    If you have concerns or if youre experiencing something you dont understand, speak up. Your doctor and physical therapist will know if its normal or not. In my case I mentioned a muscle spasm issue to my physical therapist, and she got on the phone with my doctor and I ended up needing a medication change to address it. Patient Sharon Barnes

    Walking is the best therapy you can do. Walking in the park or around your neighborhood is really how youll be able to get back to normal life quicker. Dr. Courtney

    Ive had both done, 14 and 15 years ago. Best advice: Do your before exercises and build up your strength, then after surgery, do your exercise as soon as youre able and keep doing them to get your best range of movement. Its going to hurt, but its so worth it. Healing pain is different, its pain with an end in sight. My father-in-law told me before I had my first one done, to remember, short-term pain for the long-term gain, and that was my mantra. Patient Kathy M., via Facebook

    I had bilateral knee replacements done two years ago. My advice? Build up your leg muscles before surgery. I started three months before so the muscles were in tip-top shape. It made a huge difference in making therapy so much easier. Cheryl W., via Facebook

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    One To Two Weeks After Surgery

    While youre recovering from an injury, physical therapy will focus on balance, range-of-motion, and strength-building activities. This may involve the following:

    • Leg rises, ankle pumps, and practice moving out of a sitting posture are all recommended. Exercises for straightening the knees
    • Exercises involving supported knee bendswith the objective of eventually achieving a 90-degree angle at the knee
    • Walkiingif you require the assistance of a cane or walker, the physical therapist will work with you to ensure that you are utilizing them correctly.

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Knee Replacement

    Flying After A Total Knee Replacement

    Each year, around 600,00 people in the United States undergo knee replacement surgery, but how long does it take to recover from a knee replacement?

    These surgeries are usually conducted when the knee is so damaged that you end up in pain and with difficulties walking, sitting, or conducting other normal daily activities. Its a very effective surgical procedure 90% of patients undergoing knee replacement experience a significant reduction in the pain they experience each day.

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    How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

    You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal leisure activities 6 weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to 3 months for pain and swelling to settle down. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear.

    Your new knee will continue to recover for up to 2 years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and muscles can be restored by exercise.

    Even after you have recovered, it’s best to avoid extreme movements or sports where there’s a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.

    Parminder J Singh Publications On Total Knee Replacement

    Singh PJ, Kotnis R, Bulstrode C. Expert Review â Clinical Examination of the Knee Joint. The Journal of Clinical Examination, Feb, 2007

    Caroline Blackey, Yogesh Kamat, Parminder Singh, Alexander Dinneen, Anne Vie, Vipul Patel, Ajeya Adhikari, Richard Field. The Oxford Knee Scores for Primary Total Knee Replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Br,2011 Vol. 93-B no. SUPP II 94


    Publication of normal and expected outcome scores is necessary to provide a benchmark for auditing purposes following arthroplasty surgery. We have used the Oxford knee score to monitor the progress of knee replacements undertaken since 1995, the start of our review programme.4847 Oxford assessments were analysed over an 8 year follow-up period.

    The mean pre-operative Oxford knee score was 39.2, all post-operative reviews showed a significant improvement. Patients with a BMI > 40, and the under 50 age group showed early deterioration in outcome scores, returning to pre-operative levels by 5 and 7 years respectively.There was no significant difference in outcome between surgeons performing < 20 knee replacements a year and those performing > 100 / year.

    International Presentations

    Kamat Yogesh, Singh Parminder, Dinneen Alexander, Vie Anne, Patel Vipul, Adhikari Ajeya, Field Richard. The Oxford knee scores for primary total knee replacement. Efort June 2-5th 2010, Madrid, Spain.

    For further information on arthritis go to:

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    What To Expect After Knee Replacement

    A patients recovery and rehabilitation plan is crucial to the overall success of knee replacement surgery. A recovery and rehabilitation plan can help the patient:

    • Leave the hospital sooner
    • Regain knee strength and range of motion more quickly
    • Resume independent living sooner
    • Avoid potential complications

    Typically, knee replacement patients are able to leave the hospital within 1 to 5 days , and they can take care of themselves and resume most activities 6 weeks after surgery. The majority of patients are 90% recovered after 3 months, though it can take 6 months or longer before they are 100% recovered.

    Some knee replacement patients do not follow the typical recovery timeline. For example:

    • Patients who did knee-strengthening exercises in preparation for surgery sometimes recover more quickly.
    • Patients who are older, smoke, or have other medical conditions may take longer to heal.

    Deviation from the typical recovery timeline cannot always be predicted, but these differences are usually okay as long as the patient, doctor, and physical therapist, continue to work together towards a full recovery.

    Four To Six Weeks After Surgery

    When Can I Return to Work After Knee Replacement Surgery?

    Your knee strength will begin to increase after approximately a month. In addition, when your knee discomfort and swelling reduce, youll be more comfortable overall. Depending on the type of knee replacement you had and how well your rehabilitation has gone, you may be able to rely on some assistive devices less or completely eliminate their use. Swiming, cycling, and longer walks are some of the low-impact exercises that your physical therapist may offer during this period of physical therapy.

    This phase will also include working toward bending your knee to 120 degrees, beginning to climb stairs, and being able to resume light home duties and chores after a period of rest.

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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

    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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    Seven To 12 Weeks After Surgery

    If you wait two months after your surgery, youll most likely discover that youre considerably more mobile than you were in the first few weeks following your procedure. The last phase of physical therapy will consist of increasingly strenuous activities designed to improve your strength and mobility. Most likely, more demanding aerobic and strength activities will be included in this program. If you participate in any high-impact activities that you like, your physical therapist will also teach you ways for adjusting such activities so that you may continue to participate in them safely while you recuperate.

    Here Are Some Of The Reasons You Might Need Knee Surgery:

    Just the Six of Us: Bilateral Partial Knee Replacement
    • It is difficult to walk, stand up, or climb stairs because of the stiffness and soreness in the joints. You frequently get swelling in the knee region. When youre sleeping, chronic pain affects you
    • Your sleep is being disrupted by the ache. The knee has flaws or is bent inward
    • Pain medication and physical therapy have proven ineffective in alleviating the discomfort.

    It is difficult to walk, stand up, or climb stairs because of joint stiffness and discomfort. The region around the knees is frequently swollen. Even when youre sleeping, chronic pain can be bothersome. Your sleep is being disturbed by the ache. Defects or a bowing of the kneecap There has been no improvement in pain management with medication or physical therapy.

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    What To Expect From Knee Replacement Surgery

    To see if knee replacement surgery might be right for you, your doctor will want to confirm that you have arthritis. You have to see that somethings wrong on the x-ray, Dr. Claudette M. Lajam, an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health in New York City and a spokesperson for the AAOS, told TODAY. You can be fooled by other disease processes. For example, a damaged disc in your back could cause pain in your knee.

    If you have arthritis, you wont go straight to surgery. Your doctor will want you to try other, less-invasive strategies to reduce your pain.

    Those might include:

    • Wearing a knee brace
    • Using shoe inserts

    These options can be good alternatives to knee replacement surgery for elderly patients or others who cant undergo surgery.

    If these strategies arent controlling your pain, it might be time to consider knee replacement surgery. If the pain is interfering with your life and you cant make it better with other means, you have to consider other ways to fix it, Lajam said.

    While its important to exhaust your other options for alleviating your pain, you shouldnt wait too long. There are some dangers of delaying knee replacement surgery.


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