Whats It Like To Recover From A Knee Replacement
As soon as you wake up from knee replacement surgery, your rehabilitation can begin. Patients are encouraged to begin walking with a walker, crutches, or a cane on the same day that their surgery occurred. Within three to six weeks after total knee arthroplasty, you will gradually resume many of your normal activities, but not all until you are released from a doctors care.
Your physical therapist will help you learn to safely use the new joint and will go over all of the aftercare necessary to recover successfully from the surgery. They will help you use a continuous passive motion machine, to gently move the joint to speed the healing process. Youll also learn to change your bandage, and practice how to get to and from the bathroom. Your physical therapist will also teach you the exercises necessary to help you regain the full range of motion in your new joint.
Typically, you will return home as long as you have a support system in place to help care for you during the rehabilitation process.
You will have some pain, bruising, and swelling after the surgery. Your doctor will likely prescribe some pain medications that are stepped down to over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers over time. Your orthopaedic surgeon may have you wear a support hose or compression boots to reduce the risk of blood clots and cut down on leg swelling.
- Slow, careful stair climbing
- Achieving full knee extension and knee flexion
- Standing up and slowly walking
Can You Do Housework After Knee Replacement
In the first three months, you should be able to do simple household tasks such as dusting and washing. Keeping your bedroom tidy is a good idea, and you should avoid heavy chores like vacuuming and changing beds. Do not stand for extended periods of time, as this may cause ankle swelling and may cause you to stretch and bend down more frequently for the first six weeks.
Knee Replacement Waiting Times
According to a report from the Royal College of Surgeons in England, the number of patients on the NHS waiting list reached six million in 2022. Of these, over 18,500 had been waiting for more than two years for their surgery. Patients facing the longest waiting times are for Trauma and Orthopaedic treatment, such as hip and knee replacements.
The NHS has a Waiting List Tracker that allows patients to check current waiting list times in their area. It also allows them to filter by treatment, average waiting times, highest waiting times, and much more. The tool is also capable of providing national level statistics.
In contrast to the NHS, the average waiting time for private patients is between four and six weeks. You can read more about waiting times in our new knee surgery waiting times blog.
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Returning To Work After Knee Replacement
Many people who are of working age generally delay as long as they can knee replacement surgery. The reasons for delay are obvious in many cases. The patient is a primary provider. The patient is self-employed. The patient is wondering if they can delay the knee replacement until they have acquired enough sick time that they can retire and they get the surgery. The patient is concerned with how much time they will miss at work.
For those patients who will be returning to work, the frequent question is, when can I go back to work?
Knee Replacement Pain After Three Months
Swelling and bruising can continue for three months or more following knee replacement surgery. However, it varies from patient to patient and depends on the condition you were in before surgery. Many patients are back to their activities without the pain they had before surgery by this stage of recovery.
If you find that any movement or activity is still exceedingly painful after three months, you may be experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain persisting for three months or longer. Its a condition that affects roughly 20% of knee replacement surgery patients. It can develop and increase in intensity in the weeks and months following surgery. This can have a huge impact on your overall quality of life. Talk to your doctor for help.
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Partial knee replacement recovery will vary from person to person but is generally very good with 92% of partial knee replacements lasting at least twenty years.
If you are about to have a partial knee replacement, be encouraged. People are usually up and about really quickly after surgery and are home within a few days.
You can usually get up the same day as your operation and can start rehab immediately.
Here we will concentrate on recovery from partial knee replacements, looking at short term recovery over the first week and longer term recovery over the first few months. We will also look at what rehab involves and how successful surgery is.
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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.
Providing Better After Care For Patients
Weâre funding research which aims to provide a standardised approach and assessment for virtual clinic follow-up of total joint replacement patients and subsequent management of patients identified as âat riskâ by this approach. This study would enable us to deliver better and more streamlined after care for patients.
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How Soon Does Rehabilitation Therapy Start After The Hip Surgery
Patients will have physical therapy before the hip replacement surgery, and then work with a physical therapist right after the surgery to reinforce exercises before they go home, says Thakkar. Rehabilitation will continue a few days after the surgery, with visits with physical and occupational therapists two to three times per week, as well as home exercises.
Rehabilitation begins with getting used to regular movements and practicing daily activities, like getting out of bed or a chair, and progresses to practicing more difficult tasks, such as climbing stairs and getting in or out of the car.
Muscle strength plays a big role in being able to perform these and other tasks. This is why resistance training of hip muscles and knee muscles in the legs is a major component of rehabilitation.
When Can A Knee Replacement Patient Leave The Hospital
Most knee replacement patients will be discharged once pain is under control and they are able to:
- Get in and out of bed and walk short distances with the aid of a walker or crutches
- Get into and out of bed and get up and down stairs
- Bend the knee 90 degrees
- Follow precautions to avoid injuring the new knee
Discharge criteria can vary depending on the patient and the hospitals policy. For example, some hospitals may require the patient to only bend the knee 80 degrees.
Some patients meet the criteria for discharge after just one or two days. People who have two knees replaced at the same time, certain pre-existing medical conditions, uncontrolled pain, or general weakness may be kept in the hospital longer.
Discharge to a rehabilitation facilityPatients who live in multi-level homes, who do not have live-in caregivers, or who face other rehabilitation challenges may be discharged to a short-term care facility that provides health care and physical and occupational therapy. These stays may be covered by insurance, depending on the policy and patient circumstances.
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Who Can Benefit From Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement is appropriate for patients with arthritis that is confined to a single compartment of the knee and is generally restricted to patients who are not morbidly obese. The surgery is not appropriate for patients with marked stiffness in the knee or those with a significant angular deformity. Intact ligaments are generally a requirement for a partial knee replacement. Patients with are not candidates for partial knee solutions since inflammatory-type arthritis typically involves the entire joint.
Additional considerations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with the surgeon and patient determining together whether partial knee replacement is the best treatment option. Selecting the right patient is considered one of the most important steps to ensuring a good functional outcome and longevity for a partial knee replacement.
Construction Work After Knee Replacement
A sedentary or desk job may be able to resume work after a 4- or 6-week period. A personâs ability to work as a manual labor worker, such as in construction or landscaping, is typically impaired. If the new knee is subjected to repeated and excessive pressure, it may prematurely wear out and need to be replaced.
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What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
When the surgery is over, you will need to stay in the hospitals recovery room for observation. Usually, patients can return to their hospital rooms within a few hours after their pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are stable. Since knee replacement is major surgery, its common for the patient to be in the hospital for a few days before returning home. You will begin physical therapy during this in-hospital time.
When its time to head home, your medical team will have a transition plan to help with continued physical therapy and pain management. Its crucial that you are diligent about following these recommendations to regain the range of motion and strength needed in the joint.
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Can You Replace Both Knees At The Same Time
The short answer is: yes. Total knee replacement surgery for both knees can be performed. However, this treatment option comes with factors to consider. For instance, to qualify for the surgery, youll need to be healthy and at the younger end of the typical age range for knee surgery.
You will also need to think about the recovery process. With both knees operated on, the initial recovery period will become much more of a challenge. A bilateral procedure leaves you without a good leg to support you. On the other hand, single knee replacement patients would typically be walking with minimal aid within a few days.
On the other hand, having both knees operated on at the same time means you would only have one recovery period to negotiate. This option is better for patients who might struggle to take a lot of time off work.
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How Long Does A Knee Replacement Last
According to the data, about 90% of knee replacements last a minimum of 15 years, but many are still doing well at the 20-year mark. You can extend the life of your replacement knee by staying active and keeping your weight down. Its a good idea to avoid high-impact exercise like jogging, however.
Advanced Orthopaedic Centers offer state-of-the-art care for patients to improve the quality of their lives. We offer a variety of procedures, including total knee replacement, to help our patients return to a pain-free life.
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Walking Around After A Knee Replacement
To help make your recovery go as smoothly as possible, we need to start getting you active and mobile as soon as youre able. We understand you may be nervous about getting up for the first time, but well be there to help you whenever youre ready. Getting mobile is all about confidence, which is why we help you to progress through a range of walking aids until youre independent.
- Day of surgery: A physiotherapist will give you some exercises to do while youre in bed to help your new knee joint move and strengthen the muscles around it. Then theyll help you to get out of bed and start taking your first steps with a frame this is to prevent stiffness and maintain a healthy circulation.
- Day after surgery: Youll have an X-ray to check the position of your new knee, as well as some routine blood tests. If you havent started walking around yet, the physiotherapist will help you with this otherwise youll continue practicing to walk using a frame with your nurse until you can do so on your own.
- Second and third day after surgery: An occupational therapist will give you some tips for washing, dressing and getting on and off the bed, chair and toilet. The physiotherapist will help you transfer to crutches or a walking stick, before giving you some more exercises to increase your movement.
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How Long Should You Do Exercises After Knee Replacement
Most orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists recommend exercising for at least 20 to 30 minutes daily, whether its walking or stretching. As you progress through your recovery timeline and your knee gains strength, you can try walking or stretching for 20 to 30 minutes at a time multiple times a day.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Back To Normal After A Total Knee Replacement
You will be able to feel better and return to your normal activities if your knee has been severely damaged by arthritis or an injury. It usually takes about six months to return to normal activities after knee replacement surgery, but it can take as long as 12 months.
Be Patient With Your Knee Replacement
It is anticipated that you will be able to walk on your own at some point. It is best to increase your walking time in six to eight weeks. Keep an eye on the situation. In terms of knee replacement, it can take a long time. It is possible that you will have problems with your knee for a few months after surgery. You should be patient and work with your doctor to return to your pre-op routine as soon as possible.
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Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery
For the majority of people knee replacements are very successful. There is a lot of evidence from research showing that patients have less pain and are much more mobile after surgery and this often greatly improves their quality of life. Outcomes are getting better too, as more research is carried out on what the best operation is and how to reduce the risk of complications.
However about 8 people out of 100 are unhappy with their knee replacement 2-17 years later. If they have had to have their knee replaced a second time , they are twice as likely to be unhappy with the outcome.
Knee Surgery Recovery Times
Recovery depends on the type of knee surgery youve had and how old you are. If youve had surgery on a torn meniscus, for example, the recovery time is usually between 2-3 weeks. A partial knee replacement will usually take between 3-6 weeks to recover from. A total knee replacement will take around 6 weeks.
At Practice Plus Group, we follow the Enhanced Recovery Pathway . This is a modern, evidence-based approach that helps people speed up their recovery following major surgery. The ERP champions the many advantages of day surgery knee replacement. With this support you will be mobile enough to go home either on the day of surgery, or soon after.Painkillers in the form of anti-inflammatories are administered upon discharge from hospital. This is to help with pain relief and to manage pain and swelling.
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How Long Is The Recovery After A Knee Replacement
A persons recovery and rehabilitation plan is important in determining the overall success of knee replacement surgery. A rehabilitation plan ensures that the client regain knee strength and range of movement quickly, avoid potential complications and resume independent living.
Typically, patients may be able to leave hospital 3-5 days following knee replacements. The intensive rehabilitation happens in the first 6 weeks post-operation. However, it is important to be aware that the rehabilitation is an ongoing process and can take 6-12 months for full recovery. Ones recovery often depends on their overall health condition, function, movement and strength around the knee prior to the surgery.
It is important to get the rehabilitation plan right from the start as this will determine your long-term recovery. The first 6 weeks after surgery, Own Body mobile physiotherapists take care of the following:
Getting Back To Routines Driving And Work
In four to six weeks a lot of your range of motion starts to come back. Most people return to driving after knee replacement surgery and managing their daily routines and errands in one to two months, Wang said.
While Al Roker was back on the job two weeks after knee replacement surgery, most people need about six weeks, and people with more physical jobs may need three months.