When it comes to knee replacement surgery, the procedure itself, is just one step in the process. What happens after the surgery is just as essential to the overall success of your procedure.
Follow these guidelines to help you have a successful recovery and rehabilitation.
Take your recovery seriously
It is important to stick to your routine. Follow any guidelines as advised by your doctor, and perform all the exercises your physical therapist recommends. Make a point to attend your follow-up appointments with your surgeon and go to all your physical therapy sessions. Take medications as prescribed and do not stop any medication without checking with your doctor.
Avoid Unnecessary Stress on Your Knee
Do not lift any heavy objects that could place an excessive amount of stress on your artificial knee, as there is a chance of possibly damaging it. Also, when you turn to face a different direction, make sure you turn your entire body and avoid twisting your knee. Always be very mindful of your form when you bend down, kneel, and sit.
Take Recommended Supplements and Vitamins
One study found that 43 percent of patients scheduled to undergo orthopedic surgery have insufficient levels of Vitamin D. In addition, many orthopedic patients take iron to help replenish blood count after surgery. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about vitamins or supplements that can aid in your recovery.
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings can help reduce the risk of blood clots. If your doctor suggests that you wear compression stockings post-surgery, keep them on at night or while lying down. Make sure you wear them for the full time recommended by your doctor.
Use Ice and Heat
Using ice on your knee can help reduce inflammation and pain. This is particularly effective for the first several days after surgery, as well as during any flare up. Once the initial swelling has decreased, you can alternate ice and heat. Heat is helpful to relax the muscles and eases stiffness but do not use heat if your knee is swelling.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Extra pounds put greater pressure on your new knee, which can slow down your recovery. Also, if you are overweight you can risk developing osteoarthritis in your other knee.
Strengthen the Knee with Sensible Exercise
Exercise is important to help strengthen the muscles in your legs and improve overall blood flow. Take outside walks as soon as possible and increase the distance a bit each day. Then as your knee grows stronger, consider low impact activities like swimming, golf, gardening, and peddling on a stationary bike.
On a final note, remember to maintain a positive outlook! We hope you will find these tips helpful. If you would like to find out if knee replacement surgery is right for you, request an appointment with us today.