My Scar 2 Months Post Knee Replacement
What a difference! I began with a swollen knee and staples holding my leg together. 2 weeks later my staples were removed and 8 weeks later a very fine line marks the area I was cut open.
The body has an amazing way of healing itself. Not only did my wound heal nicely, but the decrease in swelling is also evident.
During the healing process, I used my Carmex hydrating lotion on my scar 8 to 10 times a day, especially after swimming and after icing. The Carmex lotion was recommended to me by my physical therapists.
I recommend asking your doctor and therapist a lot of questions about scar management.
I believed the extra care helped reduce the appearance of the scar. Make sure you dont forget to keep the scar moisturized otherwise it might crack or leave a larger scar.
I expected there to be a more visible scar but Im also surprised at how well it looks. Much better than I expected and I dont feel any scar tissue under the scar.
How Long Do I Need To Keep My Leg Elevated After Knee Surgery
Prop your leg on cushions or pillows so your knee is at least 12 inches above your heart for the first three to five days after surgery. Keep your leg elevated if your knee swells or throbs when you are up and about on crutches. Dont put pillows behind your knee because this limits motion of the knee.
Actual Truths Behind Icing After Surgery:
1.) Cold therapy will numb the superficial nerve endings which may reduce the experience of pain.
2.) Cold therapy provides a novel stimulus for the central nervous system and may interrupt the transmission of information being perceived as threatening.
3.) Cold therapy is inexpensive and easy to use at home. It is convenient and provides you with a sense of control which may help empower you to take control of your pain.
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Knee Replacement Recovery: Discharge To 21 Days
After being discharged from the hospital, a patient will go home or to a rehabilitation center with on-site nursing and physical therapy. Whether the patient is home or at a rehabilitation center, the priorities will be the same:
- Do physical therapy
- Keep the incision clean
- Avoid activities that could endanger the patient or the incision
- Watch out for signs of complications, such as deep vein thrombosis
Most patients have a follow-up visit with their surgeon 10 to 21 days after surgery. At that time stitches may be removed and the recovery guidelines may be adjusted.
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.
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How Do You Keep Gauze From Sticking To A Wound
Use antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes to keep them moist. Creams and ointments also help prevent bandages from sticking to the wound. Follow your doctors instructions for wound care. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to a wound to help keep it moist and help reduce the risk of infection.
Transferring Into And Out Of A Shower Stall:
If possible, always enter the shower before turning on the water.Running water is not only distracting but makes the shower floor more slippery.
Place an absorbent floor mat on the floor just outside the shower to step on when exiting the shower.
Showering might require some manual assistance from a caregiver to complete the task, but even if no assistance is required, always have someone within hearing distance when showering.The mixture of decreased balance, pain meds, and soapy water is always a dangerous situation.
A shower chair and a shower hose are a great help in cleaning below the waist.
Entering the shower stall:
- Approach the shower entry using the walker and positioning the body sideward to the shower entry with the unoperated extremity closest to the shower lip.
- Move the walker clockwise or counterclockwise until the back of the walker is facing the shower entry.
- Keeping one hand on the walker and the other hand inside the shower on the wall or grab bar, lift the unoperated foot up and over the lip of the shower stall and place it flat and firm on the shower floor.
- Bring the other hand inside the shower placing it on the shower wall or grab bar and bring the operated foot into the shower.
- Turn on the water and shower.
Exiting the shower stall:
Transferring into and out of a tub shower:
Tub showers are much more difficult to enter and exit than a shower stall because:
Entering a tub shower:
Exiting the tub shower:
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Assessment Of Methodological Quality
Two reviewers independently determined the method quality regarding bias in the selected studies . Methods included in the bias assessment were random sequence generation, allocation sequence concealment, blinding of participants and outcome assessors, incomplete outcome data, reporting bias, and other bias. Subsequently, each item was scored as yes , unclear , or no . Discrepancies were then cross-checked and resolved by a third reviewer , of which only then was a final consensus reached. A risk-of-bias summary and risk-of-bias graph was then generated using Review Manager 5.3.0 software .
Myth Buster #2 Icing Reduces Swelling
Swelling and edema are also regulated by chemical changes at the site of injury. Changes in temperature applied to the skin can not significantly change the chemistry deep under the skin. If a noticeable change in swelling is noted upon removal of an ice pack it is largely due to the mechanical compression of the ice pack squeezing the fluid out of the area and not due to the cold temperature of the ice pack.
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Activity Restrictions After Knee Replacement Surgery
Patients are typically given a list of activities they should not do, also called precautions. Common restrictions during this phase of recovery include:
- No driving. Pain medications, pain, stiffness, and other factors will affect a persons ability to operate a motor vehicle.
- No swimming or taking baths. Immersing the wound in water increases the risk of infection.
- No carrying heavy loads. The extra weight will put added stress on the new knee.
Patients should adhere to the all activity restrictions assigned by their surgeons office.
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One of the questions on the minds of hip or knee replacement surgery patients is how to manage their post surgical dressing. Keeping the incision site clean and protecting it from infection is important for achieving a successful surgical outcome. Heres how to care for your incision and look after your dressing after your surgery.
Multiple different layers of sutures are used to close the surgical incision. A surgical mesh and glue is then placed on top of the incision and a waterproof dressing is placed on top of it. The surgical dressing needs to remain in place for one week. During this time, you may shower but have no baths. After showering you must gently pat the dressing dry.
You can remove the surgical dressing yourself after one week. Start from one corner of the dressing and begin to slowly peel it off. After partially removing the dressing, you should be able to see the surgical mesh underneath. Place one finger on the mesh to hold it in place and continue to peel off the dressing in line with the incision.
If your surgical dressing or mesh gets displaced earlier than the times mentioned above, you should call our office for further instructions. In some instances, you may need to return to the office for a re-application of the dressing.
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How Much Should I Be Walking After A Knee Replacement
Strictly speaking, there is no limit to the amount of walking that you can do following a knee replacement. Your surgeon will not place a distance or time limit on your walking activities, as most patients find that their knee that is still recovering from surgery, and this will limit them instead. Walking is an excellent exercise to help promote recovery and healing in the knee and many patients find that the more walking that they can do, the quicker they recover from the surgery and the more functional they are in the long term. However, walking should also be supplemented with other exercises that demand a greater range of motion out of the knee such as a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer.
I Continue With Physical Therapy
I started offsite therapy three days a week on the third-week post surgery. The first week I was introduced to new exercises including the stationary bike and the Total Gym.
It was easy going at first. I started out on the stationary bike as a warm-up for 5 minutes before moving to the Total Gym for 5 minutes of leg presses.
After those exercises, I would get a short massage and work on my range of motion exercises.
At 2 months, I am warming up with 10 minutes on a stationary bike . The load has increased on the Total Gym with more leg presses.
I am doing wall squats, stretches using bands, and an exercise ball for ankle slides. At least once a week the therapist measures my range of motion.
All of my offsite therapy sessions end in 10 minutes of icing. I continue to ice my knee at home after any activity.
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Wearing Compression Socks After Surgery Promotes Circulation
Surgical patients have two competing needs after their procedures. It is important to keep the incision site stable to avoid disturbing stitches. But it is also important to keep blood flowing even when it is not possible to flex major muscles. Graduated compression after surgery can keep blood flowing by applying gentle, tapering pressure on your legs. This increases circulation even when patients are restricted to bed rest.
Help With Medical Appointments
Keeping a calendar can help you track the persons daily needs, and can also help you stay on top of their appointments.
Missing an appointment may lead to setbacks or other complications, so its important to take note of their follow-up visits and plan accordingly. This includes transportation.
The person youre caring for will likely be unable to drive for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. This means they will need someone to drive them to their appointments.
If any issues arise between appointments, dont hesitate to reach out to the healthcare team.
This may include questions about:
- medications or unusual reactions to them
- elevated temperature
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What Does The Evidence Show
A study published in 2014 examined the long-term effects of using a knee brace after ACL surgery versus using no brace at all. The researchers randomized 64 patients who had ACL surgery into two groups. One group used a brace after surgery, and the other group did not use a post-operative brace after their ACL surgery.
Four years after surgery, the researchers measured ACL ligament integrity, pain levels, and X-ray pictures in 52 of the original patients.
What Is A Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement, is a surgical procedure toresurface a knee damaged by arthritis. Metal and plastic parts are used tocap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint, along with the kneecap.This surgery may be considered for someone who has severe arthritis or asevere knee injury.
Various types of arthritis may affect the knee joint. Osteoarthritis, adegenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and olderadults, may cause the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in theknees. Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the synovialmembrane and results in excessive synovial fluid, can lead to pain andstiffness. Traumatic arthritis, arthritis due to injury, may cause damageto the cartilage of the knee.
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to resurface the parts of the kneejoint that have been damaged and to relieve knee pain that cannot becontrolled by other treatments.
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Walking 2 Months After Knee Replacement
Walks have been an important part of my recovery and they will help with yours too. Walk through the tightness and walk when youre feeling lazy it helps by stretching and strengthening the leg.
After weeks 8 post surgery I am walking at least 3 miles a day.
Its important to concentrate on walking correctly, heel first, toe pointed straight ahead and then pushing off with the toe. Everyone experiences a learning curve when learning how to walk after knee replacement.
It took me extra long because I walked incorrectly for decades.
I have discarded my old tennis shoes as I think they were formed while I was walking incorrectly. I only use new tennis shoes on all of my walks .
Some people may be able to wear flip-flops but remember they have limited padding.
Pain After Total Knee Replacement
You will experience some postsurgical pain in the area that has been operated on after your knee replacement. This is normal and you will be prescribed medications by your surgeon to attempt to control your pain and bring it within tolerable levels. It is important to remember that, at this stage, it is unrealistic to expect that there will be no pain and so a small amount of soreness in and around the knee is normal. It will take one to two weeks for the postsurgical pain to dissipate however, this does not indicate that the knee has fully healed.
There will be some discomfort in the knee up to around 6 weeks following the surgery and in some patients, this may even persist up to 3 months following the surgery. The pain is caused by a number of factors including the muscles around the knee recovering from the surgery and regaining strength that they have lost as a result of the surgery, as well as other tissues around the knee healing and getting used to the new biomechanics of the knee joint.
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Keep Up With Paperwork
A knee replacement is a complex procedure that requires many professional services. As a result, a flurry of bills and reports will arrive from multiple providers and locations over the span of several weeks.
Dealing with the physical recovery process may already be stressful. Falling behind on paperwork and bills can add to that anxiety. If you can, take the lead on any actionable notices from the care team. Staying on top of the paperwork can help the person youre caring for focus on recovery.
To help keep paperwork organized, file everything in an accordion folder, or use a large binder with tabs for each type of correspondence.
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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Knee Replacement Recovery In The Elderly
Although the process of recovering from a knee replacement is no different for an elderly patient than it is for a younger patient and the steps are identical, it is important to remember that elderly patients typically lack the physiological reserve of their younger counterparts. This will mean that essentially the process takes longer and gaining strength back in the knee and subsequently having a well-functioning and asymptomatic knee may take longer in patients that are significantly deconditioned or have been living with arthritis for such a long period of time that this has caused their gait patterns to alter significantly and their muscles to atrophy.
This should be taken into consideration when counseling patients who are elderly that require knee replacement surgery and consistent reminders of this during rehabilitation help to highlight the altered expectation for the recovery timeline in this patient population.