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How Long To Recover From Knee Replacement Surgery

What Is Knee Replacement Surgery

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

Its a procedure in which a surgeon removes the cartilage in your knee thats been damaged by arthritis, as well as the nearby bone. The joint is replaced with an artificial joint thats made of smooth metal and plastic parts.

According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons , the procedure has been performed for more than 50 years, and more than 790,000 people in the United States have a knee replaced every year.

First Three Weeks Of Recovery After Knee Replacement

After leaving the hospital, your initial few weeks of recovery from knee replacement surgery will focus on:

  • Physical therapy
  • Keeping your pain at a manageable level
  • Keeping your incision site clean

Make sure to carefully follow the instructions provided by our orthopedic surgeons regarding activities to avoid. In addition, keep an eye out for signs of complications. If you suspect that a problem may be developing, contact our team immediately.

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.

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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.

Take On Household Chores

Knee Surgery Recovery: Tips for Fast Recovery

Over the next several weeks, the person youre caring for will likely be unable to do anything that involves standing for long periods of time, stretching, or bending.

They may have a hard time completing household chores, preparing meals, or performing other tasks that require them to move from room to room.

Although they may be able to do light chores, like dusting, they wont be able to do any heavy cleaning. This typically means that vacuuming and laundry are out of the question. If possible, take on some of these chores or arrange for outside help.

You may also need to assist with shopping and meal preparation for a while. Consider preparing frozen meals in advance, and asking other friends or family members to drop off meals during the first few weeks of recovery.

Its important that your loved one is eating nutritious foods, taking prescribed medications, and getting plenty of rest immediately after surgery.

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How Long Does A Tkr Last

Based on extensive studies that include various types of implants, over 90% of total knee replacements are expected to last 10-15 years. However, joint replacement technology is evolving quickly. Newer, more durable implants may last even longer. Total knee replacements may provide years of relief and improved function for eligible patients who have exhausted other treatment options. For more information about knee replacement surgery, speak with an orthopedic surgeon.

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
  • Infection
  • Signs of infection include fever, chills, pain in the knee that gets worse suddenly, increasing redness, or swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Early failure of the implant
  • Need for revision surgery if the knee replacement is performed on patients younger than age 50
  • Persistent pain
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    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.

    Think That Walking And Moving Around Is The Major Achievement

    How long is the recovery from knee replacement surgery? – Ask Saint Peter’s

    Patients mistakenly think that walking is a major achievement after surgery and that walking without a walker is even better. Other healthcare professionals can misguidedly feed into that misconception making the problem even worse. The truth is that getting up and moving around after surgery is encouraged but for the first two weeks you should be protecting the joint from full weight bearing forces by using the walker. This allows you to carry a percentage of your body weight through your arms instead of on your surgical knee.

    During your knee replacement surgery, the ends of your long bones have been cut and a prothesis placed over the top. Bone that has been cut can be very painful, just ask someone who has had a small piece of bone taken from their iliac crest for use in a back surgery. That bone removal site can ache for months.

    If you walk around without any protection for your new knee you will likely inflame and aggravate the bones. This can cause a person to have a real problem controlling their pain. All things considered you dont want to be dealing with more pain than is already associated with the post surgical period. So use your walker.this means actually putting weight through your arms. A 4 wheeled walker is a horrible choice for this. Get the regular 2 wheeled walker and slow down a bit. Your knee will thank you and your recovery will go much faster.

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    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

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    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.

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    Knee Replacement Recovery Phase : Weeks 3

    The third phase of recovering from a knee replacement is typically outside the home, in an outpatient physical therapy setting. A follow-up appointment around the six-week mark is also required, just like the one at the two-week mark.

    The main goals for patients that are 3-6 weeks post-surgery include:

    • Continue improving knee range of motion and quad strength
    • Progress strengthening towards bodyweight, functional ambulation
    • Normalization of gait
    • Reduce the need for assistive devices, such as walking with only one crutch a just using a cane
    • Walking short distances without using any assistive devices

    During this part of the knee rehabilitation, patients are progressed with more moderate exercises such as:

    • Sit to stand squats
    • Standing knee extension with therabands
    • Hip and core strengthening as needed
    • Neuromuscular reeducation
    • Pool therapy

    Time Checking Into The Hospital And Pre

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

    The week before my TKR I had a pre-operation visit at the hospital. I was able to listen and then ask questions so that by the day of my surgery, I had a good understanding of what was going to take place.

    The process went just as I was told.

    My surgery was scheduled for 10:00 am. I was asked to checkin to the hospital by 8:00 am. After bathing with the hospital kit the morningof my surgery, I was off to the hospital at 7:30 am.

    I arrived a few minutes before 8:00 am and checked in to the front desk. I read the local newspaper for about 10 minutes before the pre-op nurse came to the waiting room, greeted my wife and I and then she escorted us to the pre-op room shortly after 8:00 am .

    The same RN that did my pre-operation visit was in thepre-op and she quickly reviewed what was going to happen before, during andafter my surgery.

    I undressed and was helped in to a hospital gown. The nurseasked me a familiar round of questions concerning when I had last eaten anddrank, what medications I had recently taken and which knee the surgery wouldbe on.

    After the questions the nurse took my vitals. Next she shaved the area around my knee, preparing it for surgery.

    The nurse told me that she would be hooking me up with an IV port and that the Anesthesiologist would soon visit and explain my anesthesia options.

    She told me that my surgeon was in the operating room andthat he would also visit me before I was moved to the operating room.

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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.

    Cons Of Double Knee Replacement:

    • Patients who go through double knee replacement require longer surgery because this surgical treatment is so demanding to the body.
    • Double knee replacements have a chance of developing cardiac events. The risks of complications are also high.

    Still, some of them will prefer to undergo the treatment as they think that this is the best possible solution for their problem.

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    How Will I Feel During Knee Replacement Recovery

    For the human knee to function normally, three conditions need to be fulfilled: it should be pain-free, stable, and have a full range of motion. Certain diseases, like osteoarthritis, can lead to functional disorders in the knee, manifested by pain and instability.

    Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, can help relieve the common causes of knee pain, increase stability, and improve mobility.

    In the last decade, there has been a lot of progress in this kind of surgery, and knee replacement recovery times are faster than ever.

    Most people who have total knee replacement surgery will experience reduced pain, increased range of motion, and greater stability. Overall, the improvements after surgery increase the quality of life as many patients can walk without crutches or walkers.

    How Long Will I Be On Pain Medication After My Knee Replacement Surgery

    How long does it take to recover from 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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    Transition From Hospital To Home

    We will be there to assist you through a smooth transitionfrom hospital-stay by providing coping strategies in:

    • Getting on and off the bed easily
    • Standing up from and sitting down on chairs with the right height
    • Going up and down stairs safely with less pressure on the knee
    • Walking safely with or without aids around your home

    The less pressure and strain around the knee while the wound is healing, the quicker and easier the rehabilitation will be for you.

    Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Knee

    Inflammatory arthritis

    This broad category includes a wide variety of diagnoses including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and many others. It is important that patients with these conditions be followed by a qualified rheumatologist as there are a number of exciting new treatments that may decrease the symptoms and perhaps even slow the progression of knee joint damage.

    Patients with inflammatory arthritis of the knee usually have joint damage in all three compartments and therefore are not good candidates for partial knee replacement. However, inflammatory arthritis patients who decide to have total knee replacement have an extremely high likelihood of success. These patients often experience total, or near-total, pain relief following a well-performed joint replacement.


    Osteoarthritis is also called OA or degenerative joint disease. OA patients represent the large majority of arthritis sufferers. OA may affect multiple joints or it may be localized to the involved knee. Activity limitations due to pain are the hallmarks of this disease.

    OA patients who have symptoms limited to one compartment of the knee sometimes are good candidates for minimally-invasive partial knee replacement .

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    Donts Following Knee Replacement Surgery

    Taking proper precautions after major surgery helps ensure a good recovery. Following are some things youshould avoid after undergoing knee replacement surgery.

    While in the hospital, dont try to get out of bed by yourself. Accept help, and take the time to properlylearn how to use a walker or cane.

    When at home:

    Is A Knee Replacement Painful

    5 Tips to Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery: Apurva ...

    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.

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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.


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