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.
How To Prepare For Knee Replacement
There are certain steps that can improve your recovery time and results. It is important to follow your knee replacement surgeonâs instructions both before and after surgery, as well as that of your rehabilitation therapistâs recommendations. Learn more about reparing for knee replacement by reading .
What Not To Do After A Knee Replacement
As previously mentioned, removing the dressings too early or before you are instructed to do so by your healthcare provider will increase the risk of developing an infection. This is important to avoid and as such leaving your dressings and following the postoperative care instructions that you are given is essential.
Trying to do too much too quickly is a common scenario particularly in younger patients. Recovery from the knee replacement is a slow process and many patients want to be back to a baseline level of activity within a few weeks of the surgery. This is simply not possible and we would encourage you to be patient and consistent with your exercises and rehabilitation protocols. Regular communication with your surgeon or healthcare provider if you have any concerns will be able to reassure you of your progress through the process of recovering.
Avoid trying to enter into sporting activity too quickly. Although it does frustrate patients when find they are unable to perform their sports as quickly as they want after the surgery, it can also put you at risk of developing an injury around tissues that are still in the process of healing. This can cause problematic injuries such as disruptions to your extensor mechanism of your knee and even periprosthetic fractures. These are major injuries that usually require surgical intervention and should be avoided at all costs.
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Elevate Even When You Feel Good
Ice and elevation are the keys to your recovery. You can ice throughout the day and you can elevate your knee anytime you are sitting or lying down.
If you are like me, you will find yourself sitting around in your recliner a lot between exercise times. Keep your leg elevated with a wedge pillow even if your recliner elevates your knee somewhat.
If it is comfortable continue to sleep at night with your knee elevated. Again just because you feel good, dont stop elevating your knee.
To 2 Weeks After Surgery
The goals of the first one to two weeks following surgery are to improve walking mechanics and stability, ensure that range of motion is from full extension to 90 degree of bending, and manage symptoms of pain and swelling. Early efforts to strengthen the knee can begin, but the focus should be on motion and pain control.
During the first few weeks, it is important to pay attention to specific instructions from your surgeon. These may include instructions to ensure healing of the incision. Some people may need sutures or staples removed from their incision. You may have specific bandage requirements and recommendations about when you can get the incision wet.
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Care After The Operation
Please give some thought as to how you will be looked after once you have had the operation, well in advance. Most people like to be independent, but you are going to need support with day-to-day activities for a while. If you have an able-bodied partner, this might fall to them, but otherwise you may need a friend or relative to come to stay with you for a while. Some people may arrange to stay in a care home until they have their mobility and independence back.
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 Is A Total Knee Replacement Performed
First, the orthopedic surgeon makes an incision in the knee and moves the patella to the side. If are any bone spurs are present, as sometimes occurs in osteoarthritis, they will be removed.
Next, the two menisci between the femur and tibia are removed, as are the anterior cruciate ligament and, in some cases, the posterior cruciate ligament . In some types of knee replacement, the PCL is retained.
During the main phase of the operation, the surgeon cuts and remove cartilage and some bone from the upper part of the tibia and lower sections of the femur. The femoral sections removed are two knobby protuberances called the femoral condyles. The tibia and femur are then be capped with metal implants to create new surfaces for the joint. The surface of the femoral component mimics the shape of the original femoral condyles. If the kneecap has also degraded, the surface on its underside may also be cut away and replaced with a polyethylene implant.
Finally, the various layers of tissue are repaired with dissolvable sutures and the skin incision is closed with sutures or surgical staples. A bandage will be wrapped around the knee and the patient is be taken to recovery.
Fixed-bearing knee implant with a polyethylene articulating surface sandwiched between the metal tibial implant and metal femoral implant.
Side-view illustration of a knee with a fixed-bearing knee implant in place.
X-ray of a knee after total knee replacement, showing the implanted prosthesis)
Should You Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time
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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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Total Knee Replacement A Surgeons Timeline
Published on: 19th December 2018
A few weeks ago, Channel 5 aired a documentary called Operation Live: Total Knee Replacement. Did you catch it?
It caused quite a stir, mainly due to its no-holds-barred content. As the title implies, the programme featured live coverage of a patient undergoing a total knee replacement at the Royal London Hospital. You can see it on catch-up here , though do exercise viewing caution, for obvious reasons.
For anyone who works with Total Knee Replacements or is considering one, Operation Live was a fascinating watch. It wasnt for the squeamish. But that was the key take-home point: for all its great benefits, TKR does take significant recovery time. More than many patients realise.
So what does that look like in practice? Keep in mind that recovery times vary from person to person, but here is a general guide.
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.
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How Soon Will I Be Up And About
The staff will help you to get up and walk about as quickly as possible. If you’ve had keyhole surgery or are on an enhanced recovery programme, you may be able to walk on the same day as your operation. Generally, you’ll be helped to stand within 12 to 24 hours after your operation.
Walking with a frame or crutches is encouraged. Most people are able to walk independently with sticks after about a week.
During your stay in hospital, a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen your knee. You can usually begin these the day after your operation. It’s important to follow the physiotherapist’s advice to avoid complications or dislocation of your new joint.
It’s normal to have initial discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen.
You may be put on a passive motion machine to restore movement in your knee and leg. This support will slowly move your knee while you are in bed. It helps to decrease swelling by keeping your leg raised and helps improve your circulation.
Knee Replacement Recovery Time And Recuperation
Total knee replacement surgery generally takes about 60 to 90 minutes, but you should expect to be in the operating room for over two hours. Rehabilitation will begin within 24 hours of surgery.
After your surgery, the nursing staff will position you in bed and help you turn until you are able to move on your own. You may have a pillow between your legs if ordered by your surgeon.
Very soon after surgery, a physical therapist will come to your room to teach you appropriate exercises and review your progress. Gentle exercises to improve your range of motion can help prevent circulation problems as well as strengthen your muscles.
Your rehabilitation program will begin as soon as you are medically stable and there are orders from your doctor to begin postoperative mobility. All patients begin rehabilitation within 24 hours of their surgery. Your motivation and participation in your physical therapy program is key to the success of your surgery and recovery. The physical therapist will assist you in the following activities:
- sitting at bedside with your feet on the floor
- transferring in and out of bed safely
- walking with the aid of a device
- climbing stairs with aid of a device
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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.
No 11 Stationary Bike
A stationary bike inside your house might a great addition to your recovery program. If you live in an area of the country with extreme temperatures exercising indoors is the best recovery option.
A stationary bike takes will be part of your physical therapy recovery so its a must-have item. It takes up little space and can be placed in front of the television so you can have your workout while watching the big game.
I always kept my stationary bike in the garage and it helped me exercise before I had knee surgery.
Biking is a low-impact way to strengthen and exercise the leg muscles. You wont be using it in the few weeks after surgery, however, youll be feeling better after a month or two and cycling is a great activity for your health.
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Looking After Your New Knee
- continue to take any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain and swelling
- use your walking aids but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
- keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
- do not sit with your legs crossed for the first 6 weeks after your operation
- do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as this can result in a permanently bent knee
- avoid twisting at your knee
- wear supportive shoes outdoors
- do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
- raise your leg when sitting and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours to reduce any swelling
Page last reviewed: 02 August 2019 Next review due: 02 August 2022
How To Prepare For Knee Replacement Surgery
Youll want to weigh the pros and cons of knee replacement surgery its a major operation.
Risks are rare, Dr. John Wang, a hip and knee surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery Florida, told TODAY. Infection tops the list of knee replacement problems after surgery and occurs in 1 to 2% of patients, he said. People who are sedentary, overweight or have health conditions that arent well controlled are at higher risk for knee replacement surgery complications.
Theres no upper age limit for the surgery. When doctors evaluate the risks of knee replacement surgery in the elderly, they are more concerned with other health conditions, overall strength and cognitive function rather than a specific age cutoff. .
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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.
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Get Your Leg Knee And Muscles Ready For Surgery
Do your best to strengthen your knee before surgery. The stronger your muscles and supporting structures around your knee are pre-surgery the better your recovery will be.
I couldnt lift weights with my knee but I could ride a bike and swim without pain. Find some type of exercise that is comfortable for you and start exercising your leg months before your surgery.
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What The Procedure Is Like
Also called arthroplasty, knee replacement is a procedure to resurface the damaged parts of your knee that have been causing you pain.
The knee is the meeting place for three basic bones: the tibia and femur meet at the joint and are each capped with cartilage to absorb the shock of everyday movement. Resting between them is a freestanding bone called the patella . Often using a spinal anesthetic like an epidural used in childbirth a knee replacement procedure involves an incision over the knee that allows your surgeon to resurface the tibia, femur, and patella with metal and plastic components to restore the cushioning you need to move your knee comfortably.
There are two general kinds of knee replacement surgery: partial and total.
In a partial knee replacement , only a portion of the knee joint is replaced. This procedure may be recommended for patients who have damage limited to just one area of the knee. Because a partial knee replacement is done through a smaller incision, the recovery time in the hospital is often shorter and people can resume their usual activities sooner. However, more surgery may be needed in the future if other parts of the knee become damaged.
Your surgeon will discuss which type of surgery is right for you based on your medical history and risk factors.
While patients will need help in the first weeks after surgery, most people will get their feet under them and regain independence at about six weeks after the procedure.