Knee Replacement Surgery Aftercare
It might take between six months to one year to completely recover after a knee replacement
surgery. The doctor will provide aftercare instructions that you should follow to prevent complications and increase the chances of success. The aftercare includes checkup appointments, caring for the wound, and activity restrictions.
Follow-up appointments after surgery
Patients will need to visit the surgeon at specific points in the recovery stage. The appointments allow the healthcare professional to check the healing progress and perform follow-up assessments. Knee x-rays are often included. There will also be meetings with a physical therapist for about three months. Physical therapy appointments help to enhance knee strength so patients can resume normal activities like walking.
Handling the aftercare process
Before leaving the medical center after the procedure, patients will receive instructions on using medications, nutrition, and knee exercises. Some activities will be limited after surgery, and the duration of the restrictions depends on progress with healing and physical therapy. Most patients can walk without assistance after a day or two.
Recovery is a lot easier by taking necessary steps that will alleviate physical and emotional stress at home. It might help to arrange for someone to come around and assist with personal care and household tasks. Patients also need to ensure their living space is free of fall hazards.
It is critical to keep the wound area dry to avoid the risk of infection. If the surgery site was dressed with waterproof materials, patients can use the shower the following day. Otherwise, the doctor might recommend waiting for about five to seven days after the procedure before going under the shower. Some professionals might suggest wrapping the wound area with a plastic wrap to prevent contact with moisture. Another good idea is to pat the area gently after washing to keep it dry. It is advisable to follow the surgeon’s specific instructions.
Exercise and physical activity
Part of the recovery process is returning to regular movements through a normal exercise routine and physical activities. This will usually start about 8-12 weeks after the knee replacement
surgery since this is often the time it takes for the knee to regain its strength. Although the surgeon might clear the patient for normal exercises, the joint might not be fully functional for about a year after surgery, which means caution is important.
A fall after the surgery can hurt the knee and deal a major blow to the recovery process, so it is better to stay safe as much as possible. Patients need to contact the surgeon as soon as possible if they notice any indication of infection such as worsened knee pain, fever, inflammation, swelling, or tenderness around the wound and drainage from the surgery site.
Most patients who undergo knee replacement surgery can expect significant pain relief and enhanced functionality. If you have additional questions during recovery or have concerns that need to be addressed, reach out to the surgeon as soon as you can. Remember, a good aftercare process helps to increase the chances of successful recovery.
Get more information here: https://www.barbertotaljoint.com or call Matthew D. Barber, M.D. at (251) 410-3600
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