3 Things To Expect After A Knee Replacement Surgery


While knee replacements typically have a good success rate, it is a major surgery and your life will be different for several months after the procedure. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for your recovery from the surgery. The following things are common things to know after a knee replacement surgery:

Hospital Stay

After your knee replacement surgery is completed, you will most likely spend several days in the hospital. Immediately following the surgery, you will probably be given pain medication to help with discomfort and soreness. The exact amount of time spent in the hospital varies by patient. Typically, a patient will be discharged when he or she is not experiencing extreme pain, can eat, drink, and use the bathroom, is able to get in and out of bed unassisted, and can walk with crutches, a walker, or a cane.

Before leaving the hospital, a physical therapist will prescribe light exercises that you can begin doing to help promote recovery of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the knee. You will probably have to show that you are physically able to do these exercises before you can leave the hospital.

Prepare Your Home for Your Recovery

During your recovery period from knee replacement surgery, you may have to make some modifications to your home. If you live in a multi-level home and your bedroom is on an upper level, it is in your best interest to use a guest bedroom on the main floor so you can avoid having to use stairs. For your safety and to prevent stress on your knee, you should also consider installing a grip bar and shower chair in your bathroom, and adding an insert to raise the height of your toilet seat.

Wound Care

After leaving the hospital, it is important to properly care for your surgical wounds in order to prevent an infection. It is very important to keep the wounds dry and as clean as possible. For several days, you may not be able to shower or bathe, since the wound and dressing must be kept dry-- during this time, you can take a sponge bath to clean your body. The dressing on your wound will need to be changed regularly, so make sure that you or a caregiver understands the proper way to do so before leaving the hospital. If you experience a high fever, chills, drainage from the surgical wound, or a sudden increase in swelling and redness around your knee, it is important to contact your doctor right away. These are all signs of an infection of the surgical site, and it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact a professional like Joseph P. Spott, DO.


15 May 2016

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