Like any in-depth medical procedure, knee replacement surgery can be frightening. If your appointment is coming up, it’s okay to be nervous, but take solace in the fact that it has one of the highest success rates of any surgery. Furthermore, more than half a million knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States every year.
Once you’re out of the doctor’s care, it’s important to treat yourself with the utmost care possible. The quality of your knee replacement aftercare will play a large role in determining your recovery time, as your body will need all the help it can get to heal.
And we’re here to help with just that! Listed below are five of the best tips for knee replacement recovery. Read on to learn more.
1. Get Physical Therapy
The best thing you can do for yourself and your new knee during your recovery is to seek the help of a physical therapist. They will be able to give you stretches, movements, and exercises that will put you on the fast track to feeling good as new.
Also, ask your therapist about your options. The NormaTec benefits are extensive, and there are additional treatments such as cold laser and cryotherapy that can speed up recovery time even more.
2. Keep Your Body Moving
While it’s important to keep your knee joint straight immediately after surgery, before long, you’re going to want to move as much as you’re comfortable with. Go easy on yourself at first; a simple walk around your neighborhood or local park is sufficient.
3. Use Assistive Walking Devices
You will likely need an assistive walking device for at least a few weeks post-op. This can be frustrating, particularly if you’re used to being highly active and independent, but it’s a key part of recovery.
Don’t worry, you shouldn’t need a cane or other device for more than six weeks. It’s just to get you moving with minimal strain and discomfort in the beginning stages.
4. Do What You Can To Prevent Infection
Infection is uncommon; in fact, only about one percent of knee replacement patients will develop one. Nevertheless, it’s vital that you do what you can to prevent it, as an infection will slow down your recovery tremendously.
Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to help combat the risk of infection, particularly if you plan to receive any further surgical or even dental procedures.
5. Take Your Time Returning To Regular Activities
The toughest part of recovery is feeling unlike yourself. It can be upsetting to be forced to ask for help with driving, cooking, or any other regular activities due to an injury. But if you want to heal quickly, you must.
If you have your right knee replaced, for example, it’s recommended that you wait three to six weeks before getting behind the wheel.
You may be able to return to work sooner than that, usually in two to four weeks. However, if your job demands a high amount of physical activity, you’ll need to wait the full six weeks. Consult your doctor before returning to any activity, he or she will be able to give you a better idea of the rest period your specific case requires.
Rely On Others For Your Knee Replacement Aftercare
After any surgery, it’s important to give yourself all the time and care that you need to recover properly. By following these tips, you can take your knee replacement aftercare to the next level, speeding up your recovery time and helping your body heal.
Remember, don’t try to rely solely on yourself. Get help from a physical therapist, first and foremost, but past that, don’t be afraid to lean on friends and family during your recovery.
Looking for more health and recovery advice? Be sure to check out our blog!