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What To Wear After Knee Replacement Surgery

Long Shoe Horn After Knee Replacement

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Before TKR I always used a small conventional shoehorn to put my shoes on. I did not have good flexion on my bad knee and the shoe horn worked much better than using a finger.

After TKR I only wore socks for the first few days. After my second session with my home physical therapist, I was assigned outdoor walks.

On day 6 after surgery, it was time to wear shoes for the first time.

Needless to say, I needed help with the foot on the surgical knee. My wife helped me with the aid of a small shoehorn but I couldnt use it myself.

That day I ordered an extra long shoe horn and was finally able to put my shoes on by myself. It was a nice feeling to do it on my own and not be dependent on another person when putting my shoes on before a walk.

The long shoe horn, pictured right, is made by the .

Be prepared to use the long shoe horn up to a month after knee replacement or have someone help you put on and take off your shoes!

Open Surgery On The Heel Bone

If a person fractures their heel bone, they may need surgery. An operation is not always necessary if the bone has not moved too far out of place.

To repair the fracture, a surgeon must cut into the skin to get to the broken bone. They can then fix the bone back together, using plates or screws.

The skin around the heel is thin, and this area does not have a lot of soft tissue. It is easy to damage the nerves around the heel bone during surgery. Along with the attachment of screws to the bone, this can make the operation and recovery painful.

Try Cryotherapy & Compression Therapy For Yourself

Both cryotherapy and compression therapy are great methods to reduce swelling after knee surgery and should be explored in order to allow for a fast recovery. We recommend looking into trying these services.

Dr. Nakul Karkare

I am fellowship trained in joint replacement surgery, metabolic bone disorders, sports medicine and trauma. I specialize in total hip and knee replacements, and I have personally written most of the content on this page.

You can see my full CV at my profile page.

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Adjusting To Your New Knee

After the procedure, youre likely to face various challenges. For most people, recovery can take 612 months, and possibly longer in some cases.

Knowing what to expect can help you make it through your day more effectively and get the most out of your new knee.

Keep reading to find out what adjustments you may need to make.

Do Eat A Healthy Diet

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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.

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Wearing Compression Socks After Surgery Prevents Varicose And Spider Veins

It is not unusual to develop varicose veins or spider veins after an operation, particularly after an operation on the lower legs. Circulation in tiny veins becomes sluggish, and the walls of the veins expand to accommodate the pooling blood. Spider veins are mostly a cosmetic problem. Varicose veins, on the other hand, can become itchy. They can ache or sting. They bleed freely if the skin is cut. They can even become ulcerated. Post-surgical compression socks improve circulation and reduce the formation of both spider veins and varicose veins.

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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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Dont Participate In High Impact Sports

High intensity, high impact sports such as hockey, soccer, football, handball, basketball, and tennis put stress on the knees and increase the risk of injury. Its best to stick with low-impact sports that minimize pressure on your new knee, including swimming, cycling, golfing, kayaking, or scuba diving.

Reasons Why Scar Tissue Management Is Important

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Once scar tissue develops, its essential to work on promoting healthy tissue as soon as possible before possible problems arise. Remodeling the scar makes it so the injured tissue can tolerate the stress and forces the body encounters every day from regular activity. Tissue remodeling can help in three ways:

  • Improve range of motion in surrounding joints and muscles
  • Restore normal mobility and function

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Dont Skip Your Physical Therapy

The thought of physical therapy may make you groan, but these specialized exercises are essential to the recovery process. At the same time, you should only engage in activities approved by Dr. Tadje. These vary from person to person but might include:

  • Walking
  • Leg presses with a resistance band
  • Extending and bending your knee while seated
  • Swimming

Remember, dont engage in activities without prior approval or you could reinjure your knee and extend your recovery time.

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Patients typically wear a compression garment for 4-6 weeks following larger body contouring procedures on average. For minor procedures, two weeks may be enough. The length of time you will need to wear a post-surgery garment may vary based on your surgeons protocol. It can depend on the amount of skin and/or fat removed, how much loose skin remains, your skin elasticity and other factors.

If you find wearing a post-surgical garment uncomfortable, it is worth mentioning it to your surgeon. They may be able to make adjustments or advise you on how to make things feel a bit more comfortable as your recover.

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Keep The Knee Straight

While it may not be incredibly comfortable, it’s important that you keep your knee joint completely straight immediately after your surgery. You should minimize the amount of time you’re on your feet, and be sure to use crutches or a wheelchair if you must move about. When seated and lying down, keep your leg straight out in front of you, with no bend in the joint. It’s important that you give the joint ample time to heal your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to begin bending and moving the joint.

How Long Does It Take For An Incision To Heal

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Good incision care can help ensure that it heals well and infection doesnt develop. In most cases, a surgical incision heals in about two weeks. More complex surgical incisions will take longer to heal. If you have other medical conditions or are taking certain medications, your healing time may differ.

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Ligament Retaining Or Sacrificing

The posterior cruciate ligament is important to the stability of the knee by preventing posterior subluxation of the tibia, reducing shear stress, increasing flexion and lever arm of the extensor mechanism by inducing femoral rollback upon flexion, and thus minimizing polyethylene abrasion through reducing stress applied to the articular surface. The PS implant uses a post that is built into the implant to accommodate for the loss of PCL. Proponents of retaining the PCL advise that it is difficult to balance a CR knee and un-natural physiologic loads may increase wear of the polyethylene. Multiple studies have demonstrated minimal to no difference between the two designs.

Medial congruent polyethylene and ligament retaining

Common Symptoms That Indicate You Might Need Knee Replacement Surgery

  • Persistent knee pain that limits your movement
  • A change in the appearance of your knee
  • Knee pain when bending down
  • Knee pain while exercising
  • An inability to support your body weight on one leg
  • Limited relief from other forms of treatment youve tried

Living with persistent knee pain can dramatically impact your quality of life. If youre living with any of the above symptoms, its important to find out more about the possibility of knee replacement surgery.

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No 2 Compression Socks And Knee Sleeve

Compression is a must-have after surgery. As weve discussed in other articles, compression will help reduce inflammation an swelling, and keep blood and fluid circulation moving through your leg rather than staying in your leg.

Directly after surgery youll be wearing a full-leg sock, but its wise to invest in a compression sleeve for your knee and compression socks for your leg. If needed these can be worn under clothes or in bed.

I wore mine religiously after surgery for a few weeks and now I wear during and after exercise or while flying. The best compression sleeves after TKR and socks will reduce the chance of blood clots in the leg!

How Painful Is Knee Replacement Surgery

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Pain will fluctuate based on time, medication, activity, and more.

On a 0 to 10 pain scale with 0 being no pain and 10 being the most intense pain possible the first 48 to 72-hours after surgery are often described as a 7/10.

7/10 Pain is Cant be ignored for any length of time, but you can still go to work and participate in social activities.

The pain will often vary between 3/10 Annoying enough to be distracting at the low end up to an 8/10 Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Nausea and dizziness set in as factors of pain.

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Continuous Passive Motion Machines

Some doctors prescribe continuous passive motion machines after surgery. A CPM machine slowly moves the affected leg, causing it to repeatedly straighten and bend, while the patient is lying on his or her back. A patient may use a CPM machine for up to 8 hours a day, in between sleeping and physical therapy.

Evidence suggests CPM machines help patients regain range of motion more quickly,1 which can facilitate a faster hospital discharge. Some patients are also prescribed CPM machines for temporary use at home after discharge.

Not all insurance companies cover CPM machines and, while they do help patients regain flexibility sooner, there is no definitive evidence that the CPM use affects risk of DVT, long-term knee range of motion, or knee function.2

The Benefits Of Compression Socks And When To Wear Them

Compression socks can improve circulation and fight swelling and discomfort.

Good circulation is one of the most important parts of your health. Problems with blood flow can lead to uncomfortable aches and pains, and in some situations, they can even be dangerous. While it might seem harmless, sitting in one position for long periods of time can prevent blood from flowing the way it should, but compression socks might offer a simple solution.

There are many benefits of compression socks, which are pretty much exactly what they sound like. By providing consistent pressure along with leg movement, they encourage blood to flow upward from your ankles through the deep veins in your legs and back toward your heart.

Some varieties are graduated, meaning thereâs more pressure at the ankles and it decreases further up the leg. This simple technology can help fight swelling and discomfort, and may also reduce the risk of developing DVT , a clot that forms in the deep veins. The danger of DVT is that a clot could break off, travel through your body, and block blood flow in one of the arteries to your lungs, causing a potentially fatal condition called a pulmonary embolism.

Whether youâre at high risk for DVT or just feel like your legs are a bit achy and heavy, compression socks might help.

Benefits of Compression Socks

  • Youâve recently had surgery or have been on bed restinactivity increases your risk of DVT.

Using Compression Socks

What You Can Expect

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The Day Before Surgery

A medical professional from the hospital or outpatient facility should contact you the day before your procedure to confirm the information they need and answer any final questions you have. Theyll usually tell you what time youll need to arrive and confirm fasting requirements and what medications are safe to take before the surgery.

You can prepare for your surgical procedure the day before by:

Shorts All The Shorts

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I wore shorts strictly from the hospital till late into my knee rehab. I was not too fond of fabric touching my incision. The material of long pants felt weird, uncomfortable, and even painful at times on my surgery scar. So shorts with wide legs, a shorter inseam, and an elastic band were my favorite go-to.

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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.

Less Probability Of Infections

Compression stockings also act like bandages. You put a band-aid on a cut to stop the blood and protect it from getting dirty and infected. Compression garments also work similarly. They fit tightly around the body and restrict environmental factors to get to it. They are made up of moisture-wicking cooling materials and dont allow any sweat build up either.

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The National Joint Registry

The National Joint Registry collects details of knee replacements done in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Although its voluntary, its worth registering. This enables the NJR to monitor knee replacements, so you can be identified if any problems emerge in the future.

The registry also gives you the chance to participate in a patient feedback survey.

Its confidential and you have a right under the Data Protection Act to see what details are kept about you.

Take On Household Chores

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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.

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How Can I Hide My Post

In the early stages of recovery, you will be taking it easy at home. However, hiding the garment may be necessary when you return to work or have to attend an event. Tummy tuck girdles and binders are relatively easy to hide if you avoid tight clothes. However, compression garments have hooks and zippers to contend with. These can be hidden easily with the right clothing.

If you are wondering how to hide a compression garment under clothes, here are a few tips:

Caring For A Knee Replacement Surgery Incision

Traditional total knee replacement surgery often entails an 8 to 10 incision. It is typically recommended that the incision remain covered by a bandage from several days up to 2 to 3 weeks.

A surgeons office will provide detailed instructions about how often to change the bandages and how to do so. In general:

  • The wound should be cleaned and bandages changed daily.
  • Immersing the leg in a bath tub, hot tub, or pool must be avoided until the wound is adequately healedtypically for a minimum of 4 weeks. These activities can increase the risk of infection.
  • Showers are usually OK beginning 2 to 3 days after the surgery. The incision should not be scrubbed or sprayed with water. Instead, people are advised to let soapy water run over the incision, rinse it with clean water, and gently pat it dry.

A hospital may use a specially designed bandage that can stay in place for a week or longer. These bandages are able to absorb blood and moisture to keep the skin clean and dry the bandages are also antimicrobial and waterproof. They can be worn in the shower.

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