Knee replacement surgeries have become popular and are performed each year to restore knee function. The main goal of knee replacement surgery is to help people get back to normal activities without fear of pain or disability.
What to expect after the knee replacement surgery
A patient’s recovery and rehabilitation are important to the success of the knee replacement surgery. A well-planned recovery and rehabilitation schedule can help the patient in regaining knee strength and range of motion quickly, avoid any potential complications and leave the hospital sooner.
How long does one stay in a hospital after knee replacement surgery?
Typically, the patients need to spend the night at the surgical facility following the total knee replacement procedure. But in some cases, the patients can be sent home the same day.
What is the follow-up care after the knee replacement surgery?
In the first year after the knee replacement surgery, the patient needs to have regular follow-up consultations with their doctor. The doctor will make notes about the patient’s progress, discuss and advise various things regarding the comfort level, medicines to be taken after the surgery, how the new knee is going to work for the patient etc. The doctor will also address various concerns the patient has about the surgery.
When can patients return to work after the knee replacement surgery?
Well, the recovery process is unique to each patient, but people who have sedentary or desk jobs may be able to return after 4 or 6 weeks. Patients with Jobs that require frequent standing or occasion bending or lifting may return after approximately three months.
Prospective patients need to talk to their respective doctor/surgeon about returning to work before the knee replacement surgery is scheduled.
What are the precautions that one has to take Post-Surgical Knee Replacement surgery?
Patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery should take certain precautions to protect their new knees. Following are a few tips and precautionary measures that can help increase comfort and decrease the risk of injuries.
There are some precautions that the patients need to follow to improve their own well-being. In order to make sure that they are back to normal life after the knee replacement surgery, here are some tips recommended by Dr. Suhas.
- Use an ice pack to reduce the swelling and inflammation after the surgery. Icing helps in bringing down the swelling and the pain as the cold temperature leads to narrowing the blood vessels of the leg.
- Elevate the leg, while lying down to relieve the swelling after the surgery. If the leg is elevated above the heart level, it will help in improving blood circulation.
- Patients are advised to do some walking the next day of the surgery and in some cases, the same day of the surgery. Regular walking with some support will help in reducing edema and stiffness. One of the major benefits of walking is that it improves circulation and also prevents deep vein thrombosis.
- While performing exercises, the patient needs to use adequate support and also while walking, as this will help them from any inadvertent injury. Proper use of a cane or a walker is also necessary for preventing any falls.
- Your home should also be safe. Remove any potential objects or furniture that may cause you to trip. Try making extra space at home so that you can move around freely. Remove any loose wires or small items that may cause to trip or fall.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet and keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Eat whole and unprocessed foods that are rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals. Try maintaining a healthy weight so that your knees are not stressed. In case, one is overweight, a medically supervised weight loss plan will work best to lose the weight.
- During the initial postoperative period, one should refrain from any activity that will involve twisting or significant force.
- Do not engage in high-impact sports or activities after weeks or months of knee replacement surgery.
- Follow the advice of your doctor for your wound care. Do not allow the incision area to be constantly wet or soiled. You need to report any discharge or redness to your doctor.
- Avoid putting stress on the knee. After the surgery, one needs to keep the knee as still as possible, except doing exercises or walking that the doctors have suggested. Too much stress on your knee can further increase your chances of damaging it further.
When should the patient call the orthopedic surgeon after the knee replacement surgery?
The patient must call the orthopedic surgeon immediately if they think they have signs of complications or infection such as:
- High Fever
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness
- Unusual discharge from the incision
- Pain in the calf, back of the thigh
If you have any further queries regarding caring for your knee after the surgery, please do contact Dr. Suhas
About The Doctor
Dr. A.B. Suhas Masilamani is a Consultant Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon and Program Director of Sunshine OrthRobotics at Sunshine Hospitals, Hyderabad. He is one of the best orthopedic surgeons trained in New York, USA, and obtained fellowships in adult hip and knee replacement and robotic surgery. He is also one of the few certified trainers in India for Robotic Joint Replacement.
Dr. Suhas practices all the modern techniques in Orthopedics, like robotic joint replacement, minimally invasive techniques for total knee and total hip replacement, Unicondylar knee replacement, and patella-femoral replacement. He is one of the very few surgeons from the city to become a member of the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS).