The Aftermath of Total Knee Replacement: What to Expect and How to Attain Full Recovery

The world of orthopedic surgery changed forever when the first knee replacement surgery was performed in 1968. Of the many different replacement procedures being done today, it is one of the most effective and successful. Before undergoing knee replacement surgery in Orem, you must prepare yourself and set realistic goals and expectations.

When Is Surgery Recommended?

In one year, over 600,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgery. The most common reason for requiring operation is dealing with severe pain and limited function. Chronic inflammation and knee deformity are typical indications as well.

You may be finding it very difficult to walk, stand up from sitting, and climb the stairs. When these issues are interfering in your daily activities, and when conservative management does not prove effective, total replacement is usually considered.

What to Expect after Surgery?

Doctor plastering the patient's legAt this time, you’d have to put your complete trust in the orthopedic surgeon who will perform the procedure. Your main task is to prepare yourself for the operation and to set realistic expectations. After surgery, you’d have to expect grogginess from the anesthesia. The dressing that covers the wound on the knee would not be able to mask the pain when the anesthetic wears off, but you will be given painkillers.

The dressing will be changed as necessary and care will be taken to ensure the wound heals properly. The risk of prosthetic failure is always in the air, but you can take appropriate measures so that you won’t have to deal with this problem at all.

At this time, you have to know that it’s not part of any protocol to keep you in bed for long. While the wound is healing, the rehabilitation staff will orient you on an enhanced recovery program that encourages walking on the same day. As soon as you are able, and when there are no complications post-surgery you’d be up and about between 12 to 24 hours after the surgery.

The Physiotherapist—Your New Best Friend

A physiotherapist who is trained to assess and manage orthopedic conditions will be assigned to you. Since you will be spending a good deal of your time with him or her, you should do your best to get along.

The physiotherapist will educate you on the movements that you can and cannot perform, and challenge you to walk with an assistive device that suits your needs. The end goal of physical rehabilitation is to facilitate your return to function as soon as possible. When you are motivated and eyeing the same goal, walking in a week or two should not be too difficult to attain.

Discharge from the hospital would be forthcoming when the medical and surgical team sees no reason to keep you confined in hospital grounds. Nevertheless, it is usually necessary to continue physical therapy sessions and to show up for orthopedic follow-up as scheduled by your surgeon. Full recovery takes a few months. If you are willing to make sacrifices and do your exercises religiously, it won’t take long before you can go about your day without any restrictions.

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