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What Is Average Recovery Time For Knee Replacement

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What Is the Recovery Time After a Total Knee Replacement?

Recovering from simultaneous or staged surgeries takes time. Each recovery period can take from 3-6 weeks. You wont be able to drive for about 4-6 weeks after your knee replacement. You also need to undergo physical therapy for 6-12 weeks following surgery to build up your strength and regain mobily.

During each recovery period, you also need to equip your home with medical devices that help you stay safe while you build strength and get accustomed to your new knee. This includes risers for your toilet, shower and bath bars, and a first-floor living area .

When Can A Patient Return To Work

This is a common question after knee replacement surgery and entirely depends on the nature of work the patient performs as part of their occupation. For those patients who work in jobs that are relatively sedentary such as office work, returning to work after 2 to 3 weeks is perfectly reasonable however, for patients whose work demands more of them physically, e.g., fireman, police officer, these patients are usually recommended to wait at least 6 weeks before returning to work.

This is because muscle recovery is usually sufficient by 6 weeks to allow for the normal duties of these more physically demanding occupations at this point in time. However, it is also a case that even for the more physically demanding occupations, if a modification of these duties is available to the patients for the postoperative recovery period then this would potentially allow for an early return to work.

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.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists on our team. You can also request an appointment online.

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Motivation To Regain Physical Function

And finally, Dr. Courtney sees another factor speeding recovery for certain patients. Motivation is big one, especially with knee replacement surgery, he says. If patients are involved in sports, like golf, tennis, or swimming, their motivation to get back to their activities plays an important role.

Fear Bending And Baby The Knee

Total Knee Replacement Expectations

I have been in the field working as a therapist for over 20 years and havent yet seen an incision split open with active bending exercises, however I do understand how this fear can overwhelm early on in the recovery. The rule is baby the knee went it comes to walking but dont baby the knee when it comes to bending. That doesnt mean you aggressively bend the knee. You must use frequent low loads and the knee will respond delightfully and give you back your range of motion in steady increments.

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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.

My Knee Range Of Motion Before Knee Replacement

Before my surgery, my range of motion was not great. My flexion was about 120 degrees and I was minus 7 degrees when trying to straighten out my knee .

My surgeon assured me that both of those numbers would improve after surgery. After surgery, I was hoping to be able to completely straighten out my leg and to improve my flexion to 130 degrees. The doctor told me that this was a reasonable expectation.

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Knee Replacement Recovery Tips To Maximize Healing

Recovering from a total knee replacement is a slow process and can feel, in the immediate postoperative period, like very little progress is being made. However, a dedicated and consistent approach to recovering will always yield the best results. It is important to try to mobilize as soon as possible after your knee replacement surgery. This will be tricky immediately following the surgery as you will feel sore and have some pain, which will hopefully be controlled by the pain medications your surgeon will prescribe you.

If your pain is poorly controlled, it is important to let your surgeon know this so that your analgesic regimen can be altered to suit your needs. In the immediate postoperative period, you will have physical therapist assistance in getting up and on your feet in a safe and timely manner. They will help you get used to the feeling of your new knee and will teach you how to walk safely while your knee and tissues within the knee are still recovering from the surgery.

X-ray showing Total Knee Replacement.

It is important that you continue physical therapy assistance in the longer term recovery from your knee replacement surgery, as studies have shown consistently that patients who undergo a dedicated and standardized physical therapy regimen to recover from that knee replacement experience much better outcomes than those who do not.

Who Should Consider Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery time after Knee replacement

It is usually reasonable to try a number of non-operative interventions before considering knee replacement surgery of any type. Prior to surgery an orthopedic surgeon may offer medications knee injections or exercises. A surgeon may talk to patients about activity modification weight loss or use of a cane.

The decision to undergo the total knee replacement is a “quality of life” choice. Patients typically have the procedure when they find themselves avoiding activities that they used to enjoy because of knee pain. When basic activities of daily life–like walking shopping or reasonable recreational pastimes–are inhibited or prevented by the knee pain it may be reasonable to consider the surgery.

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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

Femoral component stem

Is Knee Replacement Major Surgery

The key indication for knee arthroplasty is to provide relief from pain caused by severe arthritis. Two types of knee replacement surgery is performed:

Before the procedure

Before the procedure, a complete physical examination, as well as several diagnostic tests including a blood test, will be done. Medical history , any medications and drug allergy if any should be informed to the doctor prior to the surgery. The patient is advised to stop smoking for as long as possible prior to the surgical procedure.

The types of used prostheses include the following:

  • Fixed bearing

  • PCL-substituting


Surgery is usually performed under general, spinal or epidural anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours, the orthopedic surgeon with excise the damaged cartilage or bone and replace it with a metal or plastic implant for restoration of function and alignment.

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Recovery Time For A Knee Replacement

If you see a knee replacement surgery in your future, you may be wondering what the recovery time may be before youre back up and running. Each patient is different and recovery time is dependent on several different factors. Factors such as health, stamina, expectations and the difficulty of the surgery may affect recovery time.

If youve already spoken to your doctor, you may be aware that patients are encouraged to begin walking the same day you had your surgery. This means youll be asked to walk around on your own, with the aid of a walker or other orthopedic device. You will probably go home the same day as the surgery if approved by the medical team but some patients may need to stay one to two days if the medical teams feels its necessary. If a patient requires extra attention or does not have home support, they may be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center.

Recovery and rehabilitation are crucial if you have a total knee replacement surgery. It allows you to get back on your feet and return to an active lifestyle. The 12 weeks after surgery are important for recovery and rehabilitation. If you make the commitment to a plan and push yourself to do as much as possible each day, your chances of healing faster are higher.

Recovery Timeline

To learn more about knee replacements or our opioid free surgery program, call our clinic at 504-412-1705.

Here Is An Overview Of What You Can Expect During These 12 Weeks:

The Complete Guide to Knee Surgery Recovery Timeline
  • Days 1 3: In the hospital, you will work with a physical therapist and occupational therapist to work on straightening and bending the knee.
  • Discharge Day: Most people are discharged from the hospital within a few days. You will be sent home with specific instructions for care, medication, and therapy.
  • Week 3: By the time you reach week three, you will be able to move around a little more, and the pain will be decreasing.
  • Weeks 4 6: The most noticeable improvements in your knee happen during this time if you are consistent with your rehab and exercise activities.
  • Weeks 7 11: Physical therapy and rehabilitation continue. At this point, you will be working on range of motion, mobility, and strengthening the muscles.
  • Week 12: You can start to return to normal activities but still need to avoid high-impact exercise .

Beyond this initial recovery time, you will notice that the pain will continue to decrease, and your function will improve.

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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.

Do Follow Your Doctors Instructions On Caring For The Wound

To avoid post-op infection, be sure you understand how and when to change your bandage. If the skin aroundthe wound becomes red or drains, or if you develop a fever and chills, call your doctor right away. To avoidcomplications of a clot, call your doctor if your leg is tender, swells unduly below or above the knee, orif you develop pain in your leg or calf.

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Avoid Mistakes To Recover Faster

How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement? Will it be relatively easy or frustratingly hard, speedy or last over a year? This is the million dollar question. You can make a big difference in your recovery speed by avoiding the 5 biggest mistakes that most people make. Not doing any of your exercises would be the stupidest mistake but I am going to assume you are MUCH smarter than that after all you are here searching out and seeking the best answers to all your questions.

Here it is for all the wise ones. Listen up and take notes so that you too can avoid the 5 biggest mistakes that will shipwreck your recovery from a total knee replacement.

Donts Following Knee Replacement Surgery

What is the recovery period of Knee replacement? – Dr. Hanume Gowda

Taking proper precautions after major surgery helps ensure a good recovery. Following are some things youshould avoid after undergoing knee replacement surgery.

While in the hospital, dont try to get out of bed by yourself. Accept help, and take the time to properlylearn how to use a walker or cane.

When at home:

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Bilateral Knee Replacement Recovery Tips

  • Home
  • BlogBilateral Knee Replacement Recovery Tips
  • When you have a bilateral knee replacement, the recovery phase plays a vital role in helping you resume normal activities quickly. The recovery and rehab process can help you heal faster after surgery and improve the long-term outcome of the surgery. Here we discuss the recovery time for knee replacement and six bilateral knee replacement tips.

    Research: Three Out Of Ten Patients Do Not Expect Knee Replacement To Help Them Perform Their Job Better

    Here is a study led by the University of Amsterdam published in December 2018 in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. The question is asked:

    • What are patients expectations regarding the ability to perform work-related knee-demanding activities 6 months after compared to their preoperative status?

    The learning points:

    • Three out of ten patients do not return to work after total knee replacement. Patient expectations are suggested to play a key role.
    • A study was performed among 236 working patients listed for total knee replacement.
    • A clinical improvement in the ability to perform work-related knee-demanding activities was expected by 72% of the patients, while 28% of the patients expected no clinical improvement or even worse ability to perform work-related knee-demanding activities 6 months after
    • Of the patients,
    • 30% in crouching and
    • 17% in clambering 6 months after total knee replacement.

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    Total Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery

    Patients are encouraged to begin ambulation the same day as their knee replacement surgery, with the aid of a walker or other orthopedic device. A patient typically stays in the hospital for 1 to 2 days, and longer if needed. Some may be able to go home the same day of their surgery if their medical team feels it is safe to do so. Patients who require extra attention or do not have home support may be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, but every effort is made to help the patient return to their home environment with additional support.

    Anterior view of a knee that has undergone a total knee replacement.

    Should You Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time

    Total Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery, Pain &  Exercises

    When your knees are stiff, painful, and cant perform their job anymore due to arthritis, a complex fracture, or an injury that wont heal, you may need knee replacement surgery. If both knees are shot, you face a dilemma: Should you replace them at the same time and get the whole thing over with, or deal with one surgery at a time?

    At Texas Orthopaedic Associates LLP with locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Plano, Texas, areas our expert orthopedists only recommend knee surgery when other, less-invasive options have failed. Knee replacement surgery removes damaged tissue, resurfaces the joint bones, and then separates the bones with a spacer so your knee can move freely and without pain again.

    If you need to replace both knees, you can choose for either a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement or a staged bilateral knee replacement . To choose between simultaneous or staged surgeries, ask yourself the following questions:

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    Knee Replacement Recovery Time

    Knee replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that resurfaces a knee joint damaged by severe injuries or joint conditions such as arthritis. The recovery time for a knee surgery can vary depending on the severity of the underlying issue. Generally, knee replacement procedures include four steps:

    • Preparing the injured bone and cartilage by removal.
    • Positioning the metal implants where all cartilage and bone has been removed.
    • Resurfacing the patella or kneecap.
    • Inserting a medical-grade plastic spacer that helps keep artificial components moving efficiently.

    While the steps of this procedure are variable, most patients can expect a fairly short and smooth recovery time after knee replacement.

    Walk Frequently Once Youre Allowed

    Once youre cleared to put weight on your leg and walk, go for a stroll several times a day. Walking helps improve circulation, which minimizes swelling and ensures the tissue in the knee gets all the oxygen and nutrients it needs.

    Even if you cant go for a long walk or walk unassisted, a little movement will have a positive impact on your repaired knee. Several short walks will boost circulation enough to make a difference, and youll be moving your legs even if you use a cane or walker. The goal at this point isnt to put a lot of weight on the leg to build muscle but simply to move it some.

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