Knee Surgery Recovery Time: How To Plan For Your Knee Surgery
A doctor has just recommended you have knee surgery. This development means you have already tried conservative, non-surgical options to repair knee damage and alleviate pain. You may be meeting an orthopedic surgeon for the first time. You probably have many questions, like How long is recovery from knee replacement surgery? and What do I need to do before surgery? You want to know what to expect and how long it will take to resume your regular activities. If youre having knee surgery, heres what you can do to prepare for a successful procedure, including planning for your knee surgery recovery time, when to expect to return to work, and methods to help heal faster.
How To Heal And Enhance Recovery After A Knee Replacement
It may take a long time to recover from knee replacement surgery. Recovery time ranges from six months to a year, but it can take much longer for physically demanding activities to return. Even though the recovery process can be lengthy, there are steps you can take to ensure a faster recovery time. Bed rest is a critical component of the knee replacement process. During the seven-day bedrest period, TKA patients are encouraged to reduce swelling, increase ROM, improve normal leg control, and improve normal gait using an adaptive device. In general, the patient who had total knee replacement requires a one-year recovery period for everything to settle down. There is no way you will experience continuous pain for one year as a result of the condition. However, the occasional twinge or discomfort that occurs may well last twelve months or longer.
What To Expect From Knee Replacement Recovery
Most patients are discharged from the hospital 3 to 5 days after knee replacement, with many patients going home in as little as 2 days. The average length of a hospital stay after a knee replacement surgery is 2 to 3 days. Read ahead to find out what to expect, in various aspects such as activity levels, pain management, incision care, etc when you get home after your knee replacement.
Activity level- You can expect to be up and moving the same day after your knee surgery. Most patients begin walking without support immediately after the surgery. After discharge from the hospital, light activity is recommended as it will help cut down swelling and will shorten the recovery time. Your orthopedic surgeon will recommend a regimen of exercises and recommend you to a good physiotherapist for your post-surgery rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Your orthopedist and physiotherapist will work closely with you for the coming weeks to monitor your progress and ensure you are recovering as well as possible. Physiotherapy will play an important role in gaining strength and increasing mobility with the new knee joint. This will also prove notably beneficial in the long run.
Sleep- After your knee surgery, it is quite common to face trouble sleeping. These tips below might help you sleep better after a knee replacement-
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Continuous Passive Motion Machine
The PT will also help you use a continuous passive motion machine. This device moves the joint slowly and gently after surgery. It helps prevent a buildup of scar tissue and joint stiffness.
Youll probably use the CPM machine in the hospital and possibly at home, too. Some people leave the operating room with their leg already in the device.
Some pain, swelling, and bruising are expected after TKR surgery. Try to use your knee as soon as possible, but avoid pushing yourself too far too soon. Your healthcare team will help you set realistic goals.
What can you do at this stage?
Get plenty of rest. Your PT will help you get out of bed and walk a short distance. Work on bending and straightening your knee, and use a CPM machine if you need one.
On the second day, you might walk for brief periods using an assistive device. As you recover from surgery, your activity level will increase gradually.
Comparing Nhs And Private Waiting Times
When comparing NHS treatment times to private waiting times do consider the factors we have mentioned, make sure you understand the information available, and dont be afraid to ask questions.
If you are looking for a quicker alternative to NHS waiting times, you could consider paying for yourself. Find out more about hip surgery cost.
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Going Back To Work After Knee Replacement Surgery
When a patient is having knee replacement surgery, the question is When can I go back to work? The answer varies, depending on how demanding your job is, the rate at which your body heals, and the state of your general health.
Generally, you can return back to work four to six weeks post-surgery if you have a desk job. You may be instructed to expect a longer recoverytime before you return to a physically demanding job. You may have to wait between four and 12 weeks before you will be allowed to lift heavy objects or engage in physically challenging work. It could take much longer than the aforementioned if you have other health issues that need to be addressed.
The following are good indicators that you are ready to get back to work after knee replacement:
- Youre not dependent anymore on strong painkillers that can cause drowsiness and possibly increase your risk for injury at the workplace.
- You have already regained leg strength and mobility to drive yourself to work, take public transportation, or adequately function in case of emergency.
Furthermore, keeping your body weight under control is crucial because the excess pounds can accelerate wear and tear of your new knee implants. Scheduling regular visits to your healthcare provider so he or she can monitor the state of your new implants is equally important. The frequency of your visits will depend on your age, current health status, and lifestyle habits.
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Preparing For Hip Replacement Surgery
Before you go into hospital, find out as much as you can about whats involved in your operation. Your hospital should provide written information or videos.
Stay as active as you can. Strengthening the muscles around your hip will help your recovery. If you can, continue to do gentle exercise, such as walking and swimming, in the weeks and months before your operation.
You may be referred to a physiotherapist, who will give you helpful exercises.
Your hospital may offer an enhanced recovery programme. This rehabilitation programme aims to get you back to full health quickly after major surgery.
Find out more about preparing for surgery, including information on travel arrangements, what to bring with you and attending a pre-operative assessment.
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Looking After Your Knee Replacement
Your new knee will continue to improve for as much as two years after your operation as the scar tissue heals and you exercise your muscles. Youll need to look after yourself and pay attention to any of the following problems:
Stiffness Sometimes the knee can become very stiff in the weeks after the operation for no obvious reason. Try placing your foot on the first or second step of the stairs, hold on to the banister and lean into your knee. This should help to improve movement and flexibility in your knee. Its very important to continue with the exercises you were working on in the hospital.If the stiffness doesnt improve after about six weeks your surgeon may need to move or manipulate your knee. This will be done under anaesthetic.
Pain Pain caused by bruising from the operation is normal in the first two months, and youll probably still need to take painkillers at six weeks to help you sleep through the night. You may still have some pain for as long as six months. If you still have pain after this, speak to your physiotherapist or GP.
Infection You should speak to your GP or hospital if you notice any signs of infection, for example:
- breakdown of the wound with oozing/pus or sores
- redness and the affected area feeling warmer than usual or smelling unpleasant.
You should also look after your feet see a doctor or podiatrist if you notice any problems such as ingrown toenails that could become infected.
Getting Back To Normal
Your body and your knee joint will continue to gain strength for several months after your surgery. There shouldnt be any pain after the first four months. If you continue to feel pain, be sure to talk to your surgeon.
If youve participated in activities that are hard on your knees in the past, talk to your doctor about how to return to jogging, skiing, and other activities while protecting your new knee implant. There may be some activities that arent advisable.
Most patients fully recover within six months to a year of total knee replacement surgery. While this may seem like a long time, the knee replacement itself can last as long as 15-20 years, giving you many years of comfort and mobility.
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Stay Connected With Your Surgeon
Lajam asks her patients to come in for an x-ray, or at least call and check in, every year or two for life. Mechanical pieces can fail, or you could trip or fall and knock something loose and damage it and make it wear faster, she said.
If your implant gets worn or damaged, you can consider a revision knee replacement surgery. Whats a revision knee replacement surgery? Its a procedure to replace some or all of the artificial joint if it becomes damaged or worn. Surgeons can replace just the plastic piece if thats whats needed, or the entire implant if the damage is more severe.
Life After Knee Replacement
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to improve your quality of life and restore function that has been lost as a result of arthritis in the knee, there are a number of activities that knee replacement patients find that even years after the surgery, they are unable to do comfortably. The most common complaint in knee replacement patients is that they have difficulty performing tasks that require kneeling. This is normal and whether or not the patient has had their kneecap replaced as part of their knee replacement does not seem to affect this phenomenon.
Total knee replacement prosthetic components
The image shows the prosthetic components consisting of cobalt chromium alloy metallic tibial and femoral components and polyethylene insert. The femoral component and insert are cruciate retaining. The choice between cruciate retaining and posterior stabilized implant is made depending upon the disease in the knee joint and the integrity of the posterior cruciate ligament.
Modular femoral and tibial components along with polyethylene insert
Modular prosthetic components differ from primary knee replacement components as they allow the surgeon to make intraoperative changes. The surgeon may add bone augments or stems to achieve additional stability. The constrained insert allows stable range of motion.
Modular femoral component
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Knee Replacement Recovery Tips
Here’s some top tips for four common questions about total knee replacement recovery time:
You can find the answers to loads more similar questions in the total knee replacement recovery questions section.
Arthroscopic Repair Of Articular Cartilage Injury
Articular cartilage is the cartilage at the end of the bones. Damage can occur from trauma or normal wear and tear. Arthroscopy is used to remove loose pieces of cartilage. A microfracture procedure makes tiny holes in the bone marrow of the damaged cartilage to generate new cartilage.
After surgery the joint must be protected while the cartilage heals. No weight bearing is permitted for the first few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy to restore mobility may include continuous passive movement therapy which moves the joint through ROM constantly. Rehabilitation is focused on strengthening the joint and muscles.
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Reason # 3 You Arent Elevating Your Leg High Enoughor Long Enough
Icing, which we just covered, and elevation are crucial steps in the R.I.C.E methodology that is often recommended after an injury or surgery. Lack of elevation is another all-too-common reason which has caused many people recovering from surgery to find that its taking much longer than expected. Regular leg elevation is essential for knee surgery recovery, so if you arent elevating your leg for a set amount of time each dayor you happen to not be elevating your leg high enoughthen you are not doing yourself any favors. In regards to height, you need to be elevating your leg at a height that is above your heart make sure that you are elevating your leg at the heel, not the knee. As a general rule, you should elevate your legs about for about 30 minutes straight every 2 hours. And yes, this may seem like a hassle, but if you dont elevate your legs enough, your knees will become inflamed and this will greatly slow down your recovery process.
What Does Knee Replacement Surgery Involve
The team at Tri-State Orthopaedics provide the latest advancements in treating chronic knee problems. When conservative options arent enough, your provider may recommend knee replacement surgery. Also called arthroplasty, this procedure involves replacing the structure of the damaged knee joint with metal and plastic parts to restore the normal function of the knee and relieve chronic pain.
Knee replacement is an incredibly common and successful procedure. Over 90% of people who have knee replacement experience significant improvement in pain and their ability to get around. For most people, knee replacement restores a good quality of life, giving back independence and allowing you to engage in activities you used to enjoy. However, recovery is often a long road. If youre scheduled for or considering knee surgery, here are some helpful dos and donts in your path to recovery.
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Walk As Soon As Possible
Recovery from joint replacement surgery isnt always easy, but getting back on your feet as soon as the doctor says its okay can help you recover. Walking helps prevent complications like blood clots, improves circulation, and keeps your joints limber. You dont have to wait until you return home after surgery. Most patients can start walking while still in the hospital. Walking helps deliver important nutrients to your knee to help you heal and recover. You can expect to use a walker for the first couple of weeks. Most patients can walk on their own roughly four to eight weeks after knee replacement.
What Is Recovery From Partial Knee Replacement Like
Following surgery, most patients undergoing partial knee replacement can expect to spend one to two nights in the hospital. At HSS, most patients are able to walk with assistance, or independently, on the same day as their surgery. Typically, the patient is given a cane within a week of surgery to allow for increased independence and begins outpatient rehabilitation. Patients are often finished taking prescription pain medication within four weeks post-surgery.
Partial knee replacement usually involves minimal blood loss and is associated with a low rate of complications most patients can expect to be back to their daily activities within three to six weeks. Many patients find that after undergoing physical rehabilitation, they are able to return to sports such as golf, within six to ten weeks.
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Reasons Why Your Knee Surgery Recovery Time Is Taking Longer
If you have undergone knee surgery within the past few weeks or months, then you are already well-acquainted with how slow the recovery process can be. The truth is, naturally, some people just bounce back quickly and recover in no time, while others take a lot longer. Thats just a fact of life. However, if you find that your knee surgery recovery time is taking longer than expectedor even taking longer than anticipated by your surgeon, then there might be something you are doing that is making your recovery longer than it should. Keep reading for 6 common reasons.
Cpm Machine For After Knee Surgery Including Total Knee Replacement
Although CPM machines are sometimes used after knee reconstructive surgery, a number of studies have found they have limited or no benefit.
A found that CPM used after surgery to repair intra-articular knee fractures offered no benefit.
Some studies have found more positive results, but the use of CPMs remains controversial.
A 2019 study examined the effect of CPM on a group of 163 patients under the age of 20 who underwent ACL reconstructive surgery. The researchers found that those patients who received CPM treatment were less likely to need a second surgery to break up scar tissue within 6 months of surgery.
A 2018 review of studies found that implementing CPM early in treatment with a rapid progression in range of motion was associated with better recovery than a longer duration of CPM use.
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