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 HospitalOutpatient 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
- PREVENTING BLOOD CLOTS
- PHYSICAL THERAPY
- MONITORING UPPER-RESPIRATORY
Recovering at HomeAhhhhh. Home sweet home. Even if you are doing well, there are exercises you need to do by yourself to continue recovery.
Caring for Your WoundsThe 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.
Balanced DietA 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.
Physical ActivityWhile 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.
Post-RecoveryKnee 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.