Tips For A Faster Recovery From Ligament Reconstruction
- Exercises Exercises will help to increase mobility in your knee , regain muscle strength, and improve balance. According to the National Health Services in the UK, the type of exercise depends on the amount of time after recovery. Click here for a great guide by the NHS for rehabilitation exercises to improve recovery time for knee surgery to repair your ACL surgery.
- Low impact physical activity The NHS recommends low impact physical activity such as swimming or cycling 6-12 weeks after your surgery. These types of low impact exercises will allow your body to begin building up strength without putting a large amount of strain on the knee.
You should always consult your doctor or physiotherapist to determine appropriate exercises for your particular needs.
Conventional Treatment Methods Of Knee Pain
Knee pain is treated in a variety of ways. Once the cause is diagnosed using proper techniques, a treatment plan is set in motion. Doctors use information such as a patientÃ¢s medical history, overall health, activity level, and comfort level to create a treatment plan that is unique to each patient. In the beginning, these plans typically enact the RICE method. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Sometimes patients also take over the counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. Pain is often caused by a form of inflammation, so these methods can help subside the pain.
If these less invasive methods fail to relieve pain, doctors will turn to slightly more intense treatment methods such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy seeks to strengthen muscles surrounding an injury and increase a patientÃ¢s range of motion. Corticosteroid injections are used to inject a powerful anti-inflammatory agent directly into the pain area. This is most often successful at relieving pain in the short-term but has been proven to damage tissue over time. Corticosteroid injections are not considered a long-term solution to knee pain.
After undergoing slightly more invasive treatment methods and still failing to see results, doctors may discuss surgery as an option. Initial surgeries for knee pain are less invasive than a total knee replacement. These surgeries may include:
What Is A Knee Replacement
Knee replacement is also known as total knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty. This surgery involves the surgical removal of the human knee joint, then replacement with a new prosthetic knee made of plastics and metals. The prosthetic device then functions in the same way as the original joint.
As a surgery, knee replacement is one of the most common and safe medical procedures in the United States. The first knee replacement was performed in 1968. Since then, the procedure doctors use to replace your knee is much more efficient, less invasive, and more effective overall.
During the knee arthroplasty procedure, your doctor will remove the patella and clean up the end of the femur and the tibia . The end surface of the tibia is replaced with metal and a plastic liner is inserted between the tibia and the femur to reduce wear. Then the patella is resurfaced and the surgeon will test the knee to ensure a smooth gliding surgery. The procedure will last about two hours, typically.
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Rehab Phase : Weeks 6
Phase three on the ACL surgery recovery timeline is when the knee is most vulnerable. The new graft is at its weakest 6-12 weeks after surgery so extra care should be taken during this period. You will be able start more challenging strengthening and balance/proprioception exercises. In this phase can also ususally start the following activities:
a) Swimming: You can usually start swimming in this phase, but you need to start with front crawl. Breast stroke should not be done until you are at least 4 months post-op.
b) Cycling: start by using a static bike, gradually building up the resistance.
c) Running: start by jogging at up to 40% of your normal pace. You want to avoid changing direction initially so make sure you are running in a straight line on even ground. Your physio will guide you on how to progress from here.
Before starting any of these activities, talk to your physical therapist to check you are ready. Any side-to-side or pivoting activities must be avoided
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.
Three Factors That Can Affect How Long It Takes To Recover From Knee Replacement Surgery:
- Lung conditions like emphysema.
How Soon Can I Stand Up Or Walk After Knee Replacement Surgery
Youll start standing and walking on your new knee almost immediately just a few hours after surgery. Movement is key to a successful recovery.
At first, youll take short walks for example, from your bed to the bathroom and around your room. Within 24 hours, youll have your first physical therapy session where youll be taught specific exercises to strengthen your knee and increase mobility with your new joint.
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Weeks 2 To 6 Of Your Recovery
Once the pain and swelling have settled, you may be advised to increase or change your exercises. Your physiotherapist will advise you about what exercises to do.
The exercises will help you to:
- fully extend and bend your knee
- strengthen your leg muscles
- begin to walk properly
After 2 to 3 weeks, you should be able to walk without crutches.
How Long Will I Be In The Hospital After Total Knee Replacement
The length of hospital stay after knee replacement will depend on:
- Replacement and incision healing routinely.
- Manageable pain levels.
- The patient being able to perform bed mobility and walking without requiring someone else doing the majority of the work for them
- Help at home from family or friends for activities that will require assistance such as driving, cooking, cleaning, moving in and out of bed, sitting down and standing up, walking, or using stairs
These are important for ensuring a patient is safe to go home. The majority of patients meet these requirements and will be out of the hospital within 1-3 days.
If a patient has delayed healing or limited support at home, they may be a candidate to be transferred to a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation hospital for 1-2 weeks for further recovery.
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Returning To Work & Daily Activities
Most people can get back to desk work, school or sedentary activity 3 to 5 days after surgery.
If your right knee was operated on, it may be up to 2 weeks before the knee is strong enough to hit the brakes to drive safely. For heavy work, it may take 4 to 6 weeks before the leg is strong enough to allow for working. You should never drive or operate heavy machinery if you are still taking prescription pain relievers.
What Type Of Pain Medication Will I Take After My Total Knee Replacement
Most patients require some form of narcotic analgesic in the early postoperative period after their surgery. Each patient is different in how they respond to this type of pain medication and while others may have been prescribed one medication, this may not work the same for you as it did for them. As such, the first line medication may be different to a family member or friend to whom you have spoken who has already had their knee replaced. We usually use medications such as hydromorphone and oxycodone in conjunction with medications such as Tylenol.
You are able to take these two medications together as their mechanism of action is different. It is important to remember that these medications do have side effects and experiencing nausea, constipation or drowsiness are all recognized side effects of narcotic analgesics. It is important to stick to the dosing schedule that your physician has indicated to you and that your pharmacist will reiterate to you at the time of filling your prescription.
Taking too many narcotic analgesics can result in worsening side effects without the benefit of improved pain relief and can even depress your respiratory drive causing you to breathe slower or stop breathing altogether. As such, it is essential that you do not exceed the maximum indicated dose on your prescription or medication container.
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Traditional Total Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery
Also referred to as open knee replacement surgery. With this procedure, the surgeon makes a large incision across your knee, cutting through tendons, ligaments and muscles to view and access your knee joint. The surgeon removes damaged surface areas in the joint and replaces them with metal, ceramic or plastic components.
Expect to spend about 3 to 6 days in the hospital for open knee surgery. You likely will walk with a walker for the first week or two, followed by crutches until you can walk unaided or with a cane, which usually occurs within 2 to 3 weeks. Being able to drive depends on when you can bend your leg and operate the gas and brake pedals typically, this takes 4 to 6 weeks.
You can resume work in about 4 to 6 weeks, if your job is sedentary. If its more active, you may need up to three months before returning to work. In general, open knee surgery recovery time is three months, but it takes six months to a year for full recovery and function of the joint.
What Are The Risks Of Knee Arthroscopy
While knee arthroscopy is a safe procedure for the treatment of knee injuries, there are some risks that patients should be aware of. Depending on the patient and joint condition, these risks may include swelling and stiffness of the joint, bleeding, blood clots, infection, or continuing knee problems.
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How Can I Learn More About Recovering From A Knee Replacement
The best way to learn what to expect while recovering from knee replacement surgery is to talk to an expert orthopedist.
Our team of orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons at TRIA are some of the best in the Midwest. Weve performed thousands of joint replacements, and 97 percent of our patients report being able to walk down stairs without difficulty a year after surgery.
When youre ready for surgery, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and other care providers will be by your side every step of the way from your first appointment through your recovery.
About Amy Haynes, PT, DPT
Amy Haynes, PT, DPT specializes in orthopedic physical therapy with an emphasis on total joint replacement and osteoarthritis. She enjoys helping patients remain independent within their home environments for as long as possible and continue their recreational past-times.
Dos And Donts After Knee Surgery
After knee surgery, youll likely encounter challenges and pain on your path to recovery. While it may seem difficult, remember that what happens after your surgery is just as important as the surgery itself.
Here are some dos and donts to help you recover:
If you experience problems during recovery, call your doctor immediately for proper healing and to prevent further health issues.
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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.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Meniscectomy
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How long does pain last after meniscectomy?
When the torn part of the meniscus is removed, any catching or locking should be gone immediately. Pain is usually minimal by 1 week after surgery. Full motion of the knee returns as the swelling disappears, usually within 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
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How Long Do You Have Pain After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Youve just had a total knee replacement. While you know that this will definitely add years to your mobility, the pain from the surgery is the only thing you can focus on overcoming right now. While you may have been experiencing chronic pain before knee surgery, it may come as some relief that post-surgery pain should go away in a short time with proper recovery.
Immediately after surgery, you can expect to be in the care of hospital staff for anywhere from 2-5 days. They will keep you on regular pain medication and be able to keep you up to speed in your recovery process. Its when you head home that it is now up to you to make sure you are doing your stretches, monitoring and dosing your pain and subsequent pain medication accordingly, and following your doctors orders.
While the rest-ice-elevate rule applies to most injuries and surgeries, it is particularly important after a total knee replacement because your pain can be so significant, you will want to do everything you can to stay on track in your healing process.
Follow All Physician Recommendations
You should always heed all of your surgeons instructions and advice. Your surgeon is a medical expert, and they know what recovery looks like and requires. If they prescribe medication, recommend rest, or have other instructions, follow everything as prescribed.
If you fail to follow your surgeons recommendations, you might experience adverse effects that prolong the recovery process beyond the initial time frame. Additionally, if you avoid medications or dont rest when told, you could negatively impact the long-term results of your surgery.
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Improve Your Range Of Motion With Exercise
Your therapist will prescribe exercises to help you move your knee freely. Youll need to get involved in exercises such as:
- Step-ups on stairs
- Leg balances using one foot to stand at a time
- Partial bending of the knee
- Raising your toe and heel while standing
Your goal should be to increase the range of motion to over 110 degrees at 11 weeks. You should be able to increase mobility with little or no pain.
Knee Replacements In Reno Carson City & Nearby Areas
If you need a knee replacement and youre in Reno, Carson City, or any of the surrounding areas, you can turn to the orthopedic specialists at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic. Were a full-service orthopedic clinic thats been serving this community since 1966, during which time weve treated tens of thousands of patients. Our team is highly experienced in performing knee replacements and other joint replacement procedures.
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