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A Complete Aftercare Guide for Knee Replacement Surgery Patients

According to the Administration for Community Living, one in four American adults has chronic knee pain. Based on the severity of the symptoms and the condition, treatments can range from pain medication to surgical intervention. In many cases, effectively addressing the root cause of the pain is the best option.

If you’ve opted for knee replacement surgery, it’s important to learn as much as possible about your surgery, from pre-op requirements to post-op care, to relieve anxiety and provide peace of mind. In this blog, we’ll focus on post-op care.

Once your surgery is complete, what aftercare precautions should you take? Use our complete knee replacement surgery aftercare guide to ensure that the recovery phase is smooth and stress-free.

1. What Will the First Few Days Be Like?

Right after your surgery, you may be given painkillers and, if needed, oxygen via a mask or tube. In some cases, a blood transfusion may also be necessary. Your knee will have a large dressing for wound protection and healing.

People often think they’ll be bedridden for several weeks following surgery, but with advanced surgical treatments—especially robotics—it’s not likely. Your recovery will vary depending on your procedure and your doctor’s directives. The staff at Houston Physicians’ Hospital will help you move around and walk as soon as possible. If you had keyhole surgery, you might be able to walk with assistance in the same day. If not, you should be able to stand within 12 to 24 hours, at the very most.

As you recover and rehabilitate, take things slow. Work with a physiotherapist to strengthen your knee. Make sure you follow their advice to avoid any complications. Some patients are put on a passive motion machine that helps with knee and leg mobility. Your hospital stay will vary depending on how you respond to your recovery program.

2. Steps to Take at Home

a knee replacement surgery patient recovering at home

Once you return home, you’ll shoulder a lot more responsibility for your recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members to provide assistance. Since the doctors and nurses will not be present to help you, you’ll have to arrange for your own assistance, but communicate with your doctor throughout the process.

You should also set up your rehabilitation with a physical therapist to help you regain your mobility and flexibility. The first few days may be difficult; you’ll feel extremely tired since the muscles and tissues around your knees will be recovering. It could take up to six weeks or more post-surgery for the pain and swelling to settle.

Most patients can start driving again six to eight weeks after surgery. However, this ultimately varies based on your condition, surgical outcome, and recovery. Consult your doctor to determine the right course of action.

Keep taking your painkillers and anti-inflammatories as prescribed by your doctor. Maintain exercise, wear supportive shoes, and avoid putting any kind of pressure on your knees. Ideally, you should avoid crossing your knees for at least six months. Kneeling is especially dangerous; avoid it until your surgeon gives you the green light.

3. Warning Signs

Once you’ve settled into your recovery phase at home, keep an eye out for warning signs of infection and blood clotting.

If you have persistent fever, chills, abnormal swelling, redness and tenderness of the wound, drainage of the wound, or increased pain, you may have developed an infection. If your leg or calf hurts, or there’s tenderness, swelling, and redness in the lower extremities, you may have a blood clot.

Notify your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the symptoms of an infection or a blood clot.

Are you considering getting Knee Surgery Webster TX, Texas? At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions, including sprained ligaments, tendonitis, arthritis, cartilage tears, osteoarthritis, fractures, kneecap dislocation, and more.

While some injuries can be treated with medication, steroids, or physical therapy, more aggressive conditions may require surgical intervention.

Find an orthopedic specialist who’s right for you. At Houston Physicians Hospital Webster, our orthopedic surgeons carefully analyze your condition and symptoms to determine the most suitable treatment plan. We also treat neck pain, back pain, hip pain, and other joint-related injuries and conditions.