Rehabilitation (knee replacement)
Knee replacement surgery has gained more and more popularity over the years and is indicated to those whose conditions and pain can’t be treated in a conservative way. Your doctor might offer you this type of surgery if the pain makes it difficult to perform even simple actions or if you need to get back to sports as soon as possible. It is considered a simple surgery if conducted by a professional orthopaedic surgeon. Our surgeons have the experience of seventeen to thirty years in general orthopaedics, and ten to eighteen years in specific operations.
It is also very important to follow all the recommendations during the rehabilitation process. It starts right after the surgery and the first 12 weeks are critical, so you need to make sure that you follow all the instructions carefully.
While you stay on the ward, your physical therapist will help you to start walking and standing, using assistance. It is important to start doing it as soon as allowed. Your doctor will also show you the exercises and learn how to get in and out of bed. With the assistance of a nurse you will learn how to change the bandage, take a shower and use the toilet.
By the time you are discharged, your knee will be much stronger and you will be able to undertake more exercises. You may be asked to take a longer walk outside the ward or go up and down the stairs. Before leaving the hospital, you should be able to use the toilet and bathroom without assistance and bend your knee well.
During this period of time you will continue to undertake all the exercises. They might become a little more difficult or the number of repeats might rise. You will be able to exchange a walker or crutches for a cane. You will no longer need strong painkillers and might have less strong medications.
Closer to the end of this period you will be able to take longer walks without any assistance and will perform chores much more easily. Discuss all the possible activities with your doctor. By the end of this time, he might allow you to drive or get back to work.
Weeks 7 – 11
By the end of this term you will be able to:
– Flex your knee to 115 degrees;
– Experience less pain and stiffness;
– Improve strength in the knee;
– Complete almost all activities like swimming, cycling and walking.
During this important month you will be able to perform all the basic activities on your own. They include driving, cleaning, shopping and so on. Your doctor might change the exercise programme depending on your progress. Pay extra attention to this period, as it plays a crucial role in your recovery.
Week 12 and further
By this time you will most likely be able to get back to normal life and simple activities. You will experience less pain or no pain at all. However, try to avoid such activities like football, basketball, skiing and so on.
If you follow all the instructions you will feel totally healthy after a year, but in some cases it takes less than 12 months. Make sure to contact your doctor and ask for help or assistance in case of any difficulties. If every exercise and recommendation is conducted properly, you will be able to get back to your usual activity very quickly.