Life after Knee Replacement

You’ve come through knee surgery with flying colors, but you may not know what to expect for your normal living conditions once the procedure is complete. Your orthopedic surgeon can provide specific information to fit your case, but here are some topics to start the discussion.

Recovery

After knee replacement surgery, you will more than likely be suffering somewhat. Your doctor will work with you on a course of pain medication to get you through the healing process. Most patients need these medications for only about a week, but you only need them briefly. Keep your knee surgery incisions clean and dry, recruit some assistance with your home routine, and be very careful not to fall. Follow your doctor’s instructions perfectly for the best healing results.

Rehabilitation

After knee surgery of any kind, you’ll typically need to have some sort of physical therapy or rehabilitation. Pool therapy is extremely helpful when building strength in the knee and its supporting muscle structure, since water exercises are no impact and very gentle. Strengthening  exercises will build endurance in your knee and your therapist will guide you on the right techniques for this purpose. Your new knee joint will need to relearn movements and motions.

Building Confidence

One of the most common reactions of patients after a replacement knee surgery is to be distrusting of the new joint. This is a very normal feeling that just takes time to overcome. The most important strategy is to ease in to activities, focus on strength building, and you will learn to trust the knee again. The key is gradual and easy here, as jumping in to activities can hinder your progress.

Ongoing Fitness

After the surgery-related pain of the knee replacement fades, you’re very likely to discover that you can do a lot more with little or no pain in your knee! This is an exciting prospect for most people, especially those who have dealt with knee issues for a long period of time. There are a handful of activities you may want to avoid, such as jogging, heavy contact sports, and downhill skiing since they put undue stress on the joint, so use common sense.

After your knee surgery, life will be different and improved. Follow your orthopedic surgeon’s advice and gradually ease in to resuming your activities for best results, and enjoy the freedom from pain and limitation thanks to your replacement knee!

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