How Do You Know If You Need Knee Replacement Surgery
Each patient is unique, which is why it is essential to schedule an examination and testing with an experienced sports medicine doctor. Our team will determine a diagnosis before deciding if you need to schedule a date for surgery. The preference is always to use minimally-invasive treatments first before surgery is necessary.
But there are times when surgery is required. Whether the minimally-invasive treatments arent working, or youve had a severe injury, you might need to schedule surgery to achieve the recovery you desire.
Six Weeks After Surgery:
You may return to driving if you are not taking pain pills. Make sure you practice first on a side street or parking lot to make sure that you can drive safely. You may feel safe enough to stop using the cane. You may use some lotion on the scar. You may use whatever kind of lotion that you like. Rub the scar up and down, side to side and in small circles. This will help the scar become less sensitive and help it fade.
What To Expect During And After Your Joint Replacement
When you arrive on the day of your surgery, youâll meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss your options. Youâll also meet with your surgeon to go over any last-minute questions and confirm the surgical site.
Once in the OR, your surgeon will use your pre-op CT scan to precisely guide the robotic arm and replace the joint.
After surgery, you will stay in the recovery room until youâre awake and comfortable. You may have therapy before you go to the nursing unit to settle in.
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Recovery After 12 Weeks
After three months, routine activities become easier. You typically will feel much more functional than you have in a long time. After six months, most of the healing has completed. Occasional aching or soreness is still common. It may take nine months to a year before the sense of stiffness fully resolves. Significant pain from the knee replacementpain from the knee replacement during this period should be evaluated by your orthopaedic surgeon.
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Here Are Some Of The Reasons You Might Need Knee Surgery:
- Stiffness in the joint and pain makes it difficult to walk, stand up, or climb stairs
- You often have swelling in the knee area
- Chronic pain bothers you when resting
- The pain is disrupting your sleep
- The knee has defects or is bowed
- Medication and physical therapy havent been effective in managing the pain
If you can relate to any of these symptoms, then its time to talk to a sports medicine doctor about your treatment options.
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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.
What To Expect After A Total Knee Replacement
If you struggle with chronic knee pain and knee mobility, your doctor may recommend total knee replacement surgery once conservative treatment options are exhausted. Knowing what to expect after a total knee replacement can help you regain knee strength and mobility so that you can resume independent living more quickly.
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Pain After Knee Replacement: Six Months
If you are still experiencing pain six months after surgery, you may be wondering how long it will be until you feel normal again. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.
In some cases, it may take up to a year for all of your swelling to completely go away. Your knee will continue to recover for years to come, as scar tissue forms and your muscles become stronger with continued physical therapy and light exercise.
As previously mentioned, if you are still experiencing debilitating levels of pain at this stage, you could be suffering from chronic pain. While you may be tempted to tough it out, its important to talk with your doctor. Together, you can find what is causing your persistent pain and come up with a plan to fix it.
What To Expect After Discharge
Within 10 days following your discharge, you should be able to:
- Bend your knee 90 degrees and extend your leg fully
- Stand independently or with little help
- Rely less on assistive devices
- Bathe, dress and use the toilet on your own
- Climb up or down a flight of stairs
At the two to three-week mark, your knee may be strong enough to carry more weight. Most people are either using a cane or nothing at all by this point.
Three months after surgery, the majority of patients are 90% recovered. After six months, most patients feel 100% recovered.
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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.
What To Expect 5 Weeks After Knee Replacement Surgery
When you reach 5 weeks post-knee replacement, youll likely notice a huge improvement. Generally, youll be able to walk on your own anywhere between 4 and 8 weeks after a knee replacement. The pain will have mostly subsided, and the swelling and inflammation should be greatly reduced.
You still wont be able to drive until about 8 weeks after your knee replacement but so long as youve been sticking with your physiotherapy, normal everyday activities should require much less assistance.
You should wait a full 12 weeks before lifting anything heavier than 4.5 kg and all weightlifting for exercise purposes is still off-limits unless prescribed by your physio.
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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.
Are You A Candidate For Knee Replacement Surgery
Damage from osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery. It may be time for a new knee if you have knee arthritis and conservative treatments, such as injections or pain medicines, havenât helped enough. You and your physician will consider whether:
- Youâre having trouble with daily activities, like walking or climbing stairs.
- Your knee pain is preventing you from sleeping through the night.
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More Information Means Better Outcomes
Mako Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement gives surgeons more information during the procedure, which means you get better results. For example, heres how a knee replacement works:
- Your surgeon makes a small cut in your knee to expose your knee joint.
- Using the Mako robotic software, theyre able to see how your joint moves.
- This allows the surgeon to align the joint precisely and balance the ligaments.
Because Mako technology gives your surgeon greater precision, you get a more natural-feeling joint. And, because your surgeon can see in advance how a particular cut will affect your joint and surrounding structures, they donât have to make additional cuts to get that balance right. This means less trauma for you during surgery and a faster, more accurate procedure with a more predictable outcome.
How Much Should You Walk After A Knee Replacement
After you have recovered from your knee replacement surgery, you should be able to walk normally with minimal pain or no pain at all. Youll likely be able to return to your normal activities.
Its crucial is to take your time during the recovery process, complete all of your physiotherapy, and wait until your knee is fully recovered before doing all the things you used to do pre-surgery.
Make sure to get the ok from your doctor or physiotherapist before returning to any activities.
Pending on your recovery and your own situation it might be recommend that you exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day and walk for 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day during your early recovery Orthoinofo
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Alternatives To Total Knee Replacement Surgery
There are several different conservative or less invasive options that may be attempted prior to having a total knee replacement.
Injections are often used in an attempt to decrease inflammation, friction, and pain in the joint. Surgical options to consider aim to preserve or restructure remaining tissue and to prevent or put off a total knee replacement.
Physical Therapists provide non-invasive treatment options to improve strength, flexibility, and body mechanics for functional activities to reduce knee pain. PTs can also educate patients on an exercise program for improving body composition.
Conway Medical Center: Your Local Experts At Joint Replacement Surgery In The Myrtle Beach Area
Our Joint Replacement Center is the areas leader in a variety of knee replacement options designed to help you return to the activities you love without pain. We offer:
- Conservative treatment options such as injections
- Total knee replacements
- Partial knee replacements
- Revision total knee replacements
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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.
Knee Replacement Recovery Timeline
Immediately following the knee replacement surgery, depending on the type of anesthetic that you received, you will either wake up or come around from any sedating medications that you have been given during the surgery in the recovery room. Your knee will be wrapped in bandages and a surgical dressing. If you received a spinal anesthetic for the knee replacement, you will still be numb through approximately your waist downwards at this stage. If you received a general anesthetic, you will not be numb and you may notice soreness and pain in the knee at this point in time. Patients who receive a spinal anesthetic usually find that this wears off after approximately 8 hours and this is the point at which those patients will notice soreness in the knee.
Provided that you recover well in the recovery room without any complications, you will be transferred to a ward and they will begin your postoperative pain medication regimen after your arrival. During your inpatient stay, you will be aided by physical therapist and nurses as well as other healthcare professionals in getting back on your feet and mobilizing, usually with a gait aid such as a Zimmer frame or a cane, or a rollator walker.
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Do Eat A Healthy Diet
Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. However, avoid alcohol after surgery because it retardshealing. Eat whole, unprocessed foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Keeping yourself at a healthy weight limits the stress on your knees. If you were overweight before yoursurgery, try a medically supervised weight loss plan to help you lose the weight and keep it off.
Advances In Knee Surgery
Knees are the most commonly replaced joint in the human body, with an estimated 700,000+ replacement surgeries performed each year. This represents a drastic jump from 250,000 just 15 years ago. In addition, doctors are performing more knee replacements for younger patients than at any other time in read more Â»
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Life After Knee Surgery
As a Physical Therapist, Ive seen firsthand the significant improvements in people following a knee replacement. However, there is no surgeon or PT out there who can 100% guarantee success. There certainly are risks following a surgery and this should be discussed with your doctor. But just as important, you should discuss the expected outcomes with your physician.
Returning to activities such as walking, golf, bowling, swimming, light dancing, and even light tennis is usually encouraged. However, ask your doctor about suggested timeframes for these activities.
Knee replacements have come a long way in the past 20 years and the technology continues to improve. Set your expectations appropriately with your physician and therapist. Heres to hoping your life after knee surgery is full of enjoyment and activity!
How Will The Knee Look After 5 Months
If you religiously apply an aloe-based lotion or a scar gel to your incision, you should observe a remarkable difference in the size and appearance of your scar.
I continue to keep applying lotion or gel to my scar 2 or 3 times daily and will continue for the first year.
My surgical knee is still larger than my non-surgical knee but the surgical knee is firmer, more stable and not as mushy as it was pre-TKR.
The bow in my leg is gone and I have two straight legs for the first time in many years.
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Months After Tkr Surgery
Wondering how youll be feeling 5 months after knee replacement surgery? Ill bring you up to date on my TKR recovery and share the good and bad regarding how my knee feels.
Once again, Im surprised with the time thats passed and my rate of recovery. If you work hard at your physical therapy and continue to follow through with regular exercise and knee strengthening, I bet youll see a remarkable difference just as I have.
Ive resumed my old activities with no pain . At this point, it would be easy to stop exercising and be content with my progress.
However, each month I feel stronger and my knee feels more stable.
I continue to notice the muscles around my knee increasing.
As I share my progress I hope it will encourage you to exercise regularly with an emphasis on your knee long after your physical therapy ends.
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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What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery Heals
Once your knee replacement heals and youre feeling ready to take on the world again, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Just keep in mind you may still have some slight pain, and the area in your knee may be swollen for 3 to 6 months after surgery. Your knee will continue to improve for 6 to 12 months as long as you stay committed to your rehab.
Its always recommended to get your knee checked regularly to ensure everything is progressing in the right direction and avoiding any unnecessary setbacks. Youll also benefit from continuing to work with a physiotherapist who can guide you towards gaining more strength, flexibility and mobility in your knee.
Moving forward, here are our top tips for anyone whos recently recovered from a full or partial knee replacement surgery:
- Dont do any more than you need to
- Avoid biking uphill
- Avoid activities that put stress on your knee joints including running, jumping and sport that involves running and jumping
- Avoid sitting for more than 1 hour at a time
- Sit on the edge of the seat when riding in cars and tuck your feet in
It may never feel like the knee you were born with but a knee replacement can truly be a miracle for those who need them.
Many people whove had knee replacement surgery come to Physio Inq for both rehabilitation and regular upkeep. As weve mentioned quite a lot, working with a physiotherapist after a knee replacement is absolutely essential.
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