Good treatment and care post knee arthroplasty can have a direct bearing on the longevity of the joint and success of the operation. Knee arthroplasty surgery is recommended in cases where acute pain and dysfunction in the knee joint is caused due to arthritis or trauma. Of course, you must take care learn as much as you can about arthroplasty complications before opting for the surgery.
Post Knee Arthroplasty Tips
Around 150,000 knee surgeries are conducted in the United States every year. Knee surgery recovery rates are impressive with about 95-97% of patients experiencing good to excellent results. This can be mainly attributed to good post knee arthroplasty care, as this can play a major role in helping a patient heal.
The Knee Rehab Procedure
- Post arthroplasty on your knee, you might be advised to stay in a hospital for a few days. If the post operative pain becomes a problem, you doctor will advise you on pain management. More importantly, for a successful knee rehab program, it is necessary to start knee movements including walking soon after your surgery.
- Most patients remain in the hospital for four to eight days post knee arthroplasty. The doctor will probably put you on a course of antibiotics to prevent any infection during the knee surgery recovery phase. Within a day or two, you will experience a substantial difference in the arthritic pain as compared to pre-surgery levels. The full effect of the surgery can be seen within a year.
- Immediately post knee arthroplasty, the doctor may recommend the use of a knee support. This will help you exercise your knee slowly even as you remain in bed. This continuous passive motion exercise machine is an essential part of the knee rehab program as it decreases swelling and increases circulation.
- You can also use ice to reduce the swelling. Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Place it on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as this will help in deceasing the swelling.
- An exercise program will be charted out a day after the surgery. The exercises are aimed at strengthening the leg muscles and restoring knee movements. The program will start off with isometric exercises which help in improving muscle strength. By day four post surgery, you will be expected to do isotonic or strengthening exercises as well as active knee extension exercises.
- One of the key factors of the knee rehab program is not to put excessive stress on the new artificial joint. While you may be encouraged to walk and exercise, you will be given certain ambulatory devices that will prevent you from over-working the new joint. You may be expected to use crutches or a walker for the first six weeks and after this time; you can graduate to a cane or just a single crutch. Within three months, 70 per cent of the patients can walk without any aid.
- During the post knee arthroplasty period, it is essential to avoid any kind of falls. Take due precautions and do not hesitate to use the assistive devices prescribed by your physical therapist. Also remember not to cross your legs and rest your ankle over your knee while sitting, as this posture can dislocate the implant.
- Contact your caregiver or doctor immediately during the post knee arthroplasty phase if you are unable to walk or if your knee feels stiff.
Knee replacement surgery brings almost immediate relief from pain and also improves joint mobility, helping you lead a normal and reasonably active life. While the procedure is an effective one, you’ll need to follow proper post knee arthroplasty tips for complete and successful arthroplasty recovery.