Are you or someone you love considering a full knee replacement? If so, you’re probably wondering what to expect during your recovery period.
While this process is different for every individual, there are some things that remain fairly consistent – no matter who’s undergoing the operation.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what to expect after knee replacement surgery in simple terms you’re guaranteed to understand. Keep reading for all the information!
Your First Few Days
Right after your knee replacement surgery, you can expect a bit of discomfort. But, you are unlikely to experience strong pain. In fact, most patients are up and walking within 24 hours of their knee replacement!
You may spend up to three days in the hospital, during which you’ll likely begin moving around on your own with the use of a walker. Depending on your physical condition, you might also start physical therapy right away – an excellent strategy if you’re hoping for a speedy recovery.
The Coming Weeks
When it’s time to head home, you’ll be discharged with detailed instructions for recovering from a knee replacement. These will include information on medication, ice and other pain management techniques, and restorative therapy.
Your doctor may also suggest that you use a CPM machine to help recover your flexibility and prevent the buildup of scar tissue. If you stick to a CPM and therapy routine, you’ll likely be bending your knee to a 90-degree angle and putting weight on it within a week.
But, it’s essential to reintroduce sports and vigorous activities slowly and take breaks any time you start to experience pain or inflammation.
Making a Full Recovery
If you stick to a solid therapy routine and take your recovery seriously, you’ll likely be back to enjoying everyday activities in four to six weeks. By 12 weeks, you’ll likely be able to participate in sports, travel, and enjoy a full range of motion. Though, the knee replacement surgery recovery timeline is different for every patient!
Keep in mind that knee replacement surgery recovery can take dramatically longer if you have preexisting health conditions or are in poor physical shape. The AAHKS – American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons can offer further guidance on extended recovery and life with your new knee!
What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
Now that you know more about what to expect after knee replacement surgery, you’re one step closer to getting your life and health back on track. And, not a moment too soon! Knee problems are often painful, and waiting too long to operate can lead to unnecessary discomfort.
Keep this article around as a reference post-op, so you’ll have something to look back on if you need it. And, keep your head up even if you struggle during the healing process. Most patients experience some ups and downs during their recovery.
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