When To See A Doctor
If you think you’ve pushed too hard and may have injured yourself, you need to see a doctor. What are the signs?
The symptoms generally include increased pain and discomfort, swelling of the knee or lower leg, warmth and other unusual sensations around your knee.
You can rest and ice your knee first, but don’t put it off and see a professional if the symptoms remain.
Walking Two Weeks After Knee Replacement
In this article I will talk about my experiences walking after TKR surgery. I will begin with my first walk 4 hours after my surgery and continue sharing my experiences walking during the first two weeks post surgery. I had a few questions for my physical therapist that included?
- How much should you walk after surgery?
- How far should you walk after knee replacement surgery?
I began walking with a walker, transitioned to walking poles, then one walking pole and finally to walking on my own without support. I was surprised that my medical team had me up walking so fast.
During my first walk I felt like I would need the walker for a long period of time. This wasnt the case as I made steady progress until I was able to walk without any support.
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.
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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.
Things You Need After Knee Replacement Surgery
In this article, Ill share my thoughts on things you need after knee replacement surgery. I did research on the Internet and talked to friends who had had a knee replacement but Ill admit, I wasnt completely prepared when I came home from the hospital.
During my pre-operation appointment at the doctors office and hospital they prepared me well for my surgery. But neither the doctor nor the hospital suggested things I might need after the surgery.
Some of the items I purchased beforehand but others I had to scramble to order or buy after my surgery. I hope this article makes you aware of the necessary items to have after surgery.
If you have them waiting for you at home your recovery will be easier.
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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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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
Different Types Of Surgery
There are 5 main types of knee replacement surgery:
- Total knee replacement. This is the most common form. Your surgeon replaces the surfaces of the thigh bone and shin bone that connects to the knee.
- Partial knee replacement. If arthritis affects only one side of your knee, this surgery may be a possibility. However, itâs only right for you if you have strong knee ligaments and the rest of the cartilage in the knee is normal. Partial knee replacement can be performed through a smaller cut than is needed for total knee replacement.
- Patellofemoral replacement. This replaces only the under-surface of the kneecap and the groove the kneecap sits in. This can be very effective for people with chronic kneecap arthritis.
- Complex knee replacement. This procedure may be needed if you have very severe arthritis or if youâve already had two or three knee replacement surgeries.
- Cartilage restoration: Sometimes when the knee only has an isolated area of injury or wear this area can be replaced with a living cartilage graft or cells which grow into cartilage.
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How Long Swelling Lasts
I can not answer this question because there is no right answer to this.
From my experience as a PT with keenness on Knee replacement rehab, I can say that I have seen patients complaining about swelling problems for 3-6 months on average.
However, there were some patients too, who had a swelling present for one or two years after knee replacement.
Expected Range Of Motion
After knee replacement surgery, it is important to work with a physical therapist to achieve the maximal range of motion. Typically, the range of motion will progress quickly during the first three months and can continue to increase for up to two years following surgery.
Normal motion after knee replacement is defined as the ability to get within 5 degrees of a straight knee and the ability to bend the knee back to 90 degrees. Most knee replacements have movement ranging from 0 degrees to 110 degrees or more.
The optimal motion of the replaced knee can be achieved with a combination of stretches, exercises, and gradual resumption of normal activities. Some surgeons will recommend the use of a machine to bend the knee, called a CPM, .
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Take On Household Chores
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.
Why Would I Need Surgery
Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage — the cushion between the knee and the bone joints — breaks down.
Other reasons include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is when the bodyâs immune system attacks and destroys the lining of the knee.
- Deformities: People with bowed legs or âknock-kneesâ often get surgery to restore the position of the knee.
- Knee injuries: A broken bone or torn ligaments around the knee sometimes will result in arthritis that causes great pain and limits your movement.
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How Do I Manage Pain And Discomfort After Joint Replacement Surgery
Try to take your pain medication as soon as you begin to feel pain. Don’t wait until the pain becomes severe. Follow the instructions on the prescription label. Remember to take your pain medication before activity and bedtime.
If you need to have stitches or staples removed and you’re still taking pain medications, be sure to have a friend or family member drive you to your appointment.
Pain medication may cause nausea. If this happens, decrease the amount you are taking or stop and contact your surgeons office.
If you need additional pain medication, please contact your surgeons office. Give at least a few days advance notice before you run out of the medication. Please plan ahead, especially for holiday weekends.
- You aren’t permitted to drive a car while taking narcotic pain medication.
- It may take several days to have a bowel movement. Anesthesia and pain medication often cause constipation. Drink plenty of fluids and eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A stool softener or laxative can help bowel function return to normal.
- Don’t hesitate to call your surgeons office with any questions or concerns.
Walker, crutches, cane
Use your assistive devices for balance as instructed by your surgeon or therapist. By your first post-op visit with your surgeon, you may have already improved and changed from using a walker or crutches to a cane .
The Day You Leave The Hospital To 3 Weeks After Surgery
During this time, you may be able to move around a bit. The pain you feel while moving your knee may lessen, but you still need to be careful. Check with your doctor to see if you would now require fewer pain medications and increase your level of exercise. A good exercise plan will slowly increase your mobility and agility so your knee can return to its function in the soonest time.
You may experience some stiffness and numbness around your incision this is normal. Do not worry, for this will get better over time. If you are experiencing swelling of the knee, you may prop up your leg above the level of your heart by placing a sturdy pillow under your calf or ankle. You may also put an ice bag directly on your knee to help reduce swelling.
3 to 6 weeks after surgery
Exercise is so crucial to your fast recovery. However, it would be best to give yourself ample time to rest and not strain yourself too much. If you can, and if your doctor gives you a signal, you may now try to walk without assistance. Or you can start doing simple home chores doing so can avoid stiffness in your knee.
Most patients around this time are off their pain meds or are taking significantly less. If you feel new pain, or your pain gets worse, call your doctor right away.
Week 7 to 11
After week 12
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Provide Motivation For Rehab And Exercises
Adhering to a rehab plan is critical. For many people, this means walking for 30 minutes two or three times per day. Doctors may also recommend exercising for an extra 20 to 30 minutes two or three times per day.
The person may find that walking or exercising is painful. This is normal. If they express a desire to discontinue with their rehabilitation plan, remind them that what theyre feeling is common and that rehab will help speed up their recovery.
Helping them chart their efforts, results, and progress may help keep them motivated. Exercising and walking with them may also help keep them on track.
Keep A List Of Questions For Medical Professionals
Its common to have questions after surgery and during rehabilitation. Go old school with a pen and paper pad or download a note-taking app so you can jot down questions as they arise.
You may also find that you have questions of your own about how best to provide care. Documenting your questions and concerns will help you remember to discuss them with the care team.
See this guide for ideas about what to ask the orthopedic surgeon after a total knee replacement.
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Knee Replacement Surgery Aftercare In Missouri
The experts at Advanced Bone & Joint have been taking care of musculoskeletal needs of patients since the 1980s. Our services include pain management, joint replacement procedures, sports medicine, general orthopedics, and much more. If you do need surgery, we will support you until you have completely recovered.
You may contact us at 229-4222 for your inquiries or to schedule an appointment. You may also request an appointment through our secure online form.
Will I Experience Pain And What Medicines Are Available
Pain after knee replacement surgery is normal. Most of my patients have some level of pain and swelling for several weeks.
At TRIA, well work with you to create a plan to help manage your pain. Plans commonly include a combination of:
- Home remedies such as applying a cold compress or elevation to reduce swelling in your knee
- Hands-on care to reduce inflammation and swelling
- Prescription strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Movement strategies
- Over-the-counter medications
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.
Is Manipulation Under Anesthesia Painful
Following the MUA procedure, the patient will experience an immediate increase in mobility, but will likely feel exhausted and sore. This is because during MUA the body undergoes a strenuous exercise session, even though the exercise is passive, performed by others.
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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.
Roscoe Medical Gemini Scooter With Padded Seat
If you can not kneel comfortably due to an injury or previous condition, there are still options to crutches for you. The Seated Scooter is much like the Knee Walker, only instead of standing while you move around, you sit. Your injured leg will rest on a post on the device beneath you, and you will use your good leg to scoot you from place to place. Since you do not really need to have both hands on the handlebars at all times, you will have at least one hand with which to carry items you need to take along. Plus, you will also have the basket available for your use. This device is especially good for older individuals or people that are just beginning their recovery because it allows the user to sit while they are in motion. The extra rest is never a bad idea when you are nursing an injury.
Each of these options will allow you to get from place to place faster and more efficiently. They also offer fewer dangers than crutches since you do not have to worry about balance quite as much. Though they have similarities, each device is different as well, and you should take a look at which one might work best for your particular lifestyle. Once you have one of these alternatives to crutches as part of your recovery, you will be excited to see how well they work for you.
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