Knee replacement success depends on the recovery process. Each person has a different experience. Events occurring for some are not typical for others.
What to Expect in the Hospital
Outpatient procedures instead of hospital stays for knee replacements make it even more important to follow surgeon’s directions for a successful recovery. You will be given processes to follow at home before being discharged.
- MANAGING PAIN
Pain is normal after a surgery. Staff tracks pain levels and prescribes the necessary medications to control it. Less pain promotes faster healing by allowing more frequent movement.
- PREVENTING BLOOD CLOTS
A prescription for blood-thinners may be given to prevent clots. It is possible restrictive leg coverings will be needed to prevent blood clots and swelling. You will be encouraged to move your foot and ankle to help.
Δ If you experience pain or increased swelling around your lower leg and notice redness or increased tenderness, see your doctor immediately.
- PHYSICAL THERAPY
Doctors encourage movement as soon as possible after surgery to restore the functionality of your knee and leg. Practicing exercises builds strength. Exercise machines are used in therapy to slowly move your knee and speed healing.
- MONITORING UPPER-RESPIRATORY
After-effects of surgery could lead to shallow breathing and pneumonia if you do not stay active. Take deep breaths to prevent this.
Recovering at Home
Ahhhhh. Home sweet home. Even if you are doing well, there are exercises you need to do by yourself to continue recovery.
Caring for Your Wounds
The staff will give you specific details on how to care for surgical wounds. One is to avoid soaking your leg in water. Wait until your staples or stitches are removed and the wound is sealed. Keep it bandaged to avoid irritation.
A decrease in appetite is normal, but nutrition is important for your body to heal itself. Avoid sugary and high-fat content foods. Suitable choices are nuts, avocados, and leafy greens—all rich in iron and vitamins. Iron is important for healing.
While exercise is important for overall health it is especially meaningful to recovery. Maintaining physical therapy promotes an earlier recovery. Take time when resuming normal activities.
Slowly walk around your home to increase mobility without a fall. Sit, stand and move to keep building strength in your leg and knee. Keep your knee flexible as much as possible.
Knee replacement surgery does not always fully restore knee motion but does improve function. You should be able to straighten your leg and move it enough to climb stairs or drive. Kneeling is not recommended as it may cause discomfort.
Here are some additional facts to take note:
- You may feel numbness at the incision site and should expect stiffness with excessive bending. Don’t overdo it.
- It is common to hear clicking from the metal and plastic used in your new knee. Do not be alarmed. This is perfectly normal.
- Your knee may set off metal detectors. If the alarm sounds, let security know you have had knee replacement.
- Let your dentist know you have had knee replacement surgery. Antibiotics may be needed before some dental procedures.
- Building strength reduces your chance of falling. A broken leg will affect knees and you would need to have additional surgery.
Partnership in Care
Bridge to Better Living is committed to finding the community offering the care you need. Residents enjoy the benefits of having medical staff nearby in case of an emergency as well as access to supervised exercise and good nutrition. Visit us today. Talk to Consultants about respite care if needed after surgery or Senior housing benefitting you and your loved ones. Check out our website page to have a head start or visit our Guidance Corner to learn more about the healthy lifestyle that community living offers. BBL is always Passionate about Placement.