Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty is 1-2 hours long and helps provide permanent relief for those suffering from knee pain. A common cause of this pain is said to be osteoarthritis. The surgery has been available since the 1960’s and today one can even book surgery packages online. The road to recovery after a knee replacement surgery can be long and arduous due to its invasive nature. However, with the right approach, one can make a quick recovery and derive the maximum benefit from it.
After the surgery, one is required to stay in the hospital for a few days. The recovery after that can take anywhere between six to twelve weeks. Some of the alternatives to consider while choosing a place of recovery include:
- Friend’s house: Ideal if one is staying alone.
- Own home: Ideal when at least one family member/relative/friend is present at home.
- Specialized Institution: Great for recovery as maximum attention is given here.
- Inpatient rehab: Ease of access to doctors who treated the patient. Ideal if there are complications after the surgery.
When going back home the mobility of a person is significantly reduced. Though one can walk about with the help of crutches, it is ideally recommended that somebody accompany the patient. One is likely to experience pain after the surgery which can be managed with the help of medication.
The importance of physiotherapy after a Knee replacement surgery procedure cannot be stressed enough while recovering from the surgery. It is always important that one challenges themselves to derive maximum benefit from the surgery. Many people may have an aversion to painkillers as some of them can be addictive. However, if one wishes to push their limits to have a speedy recovery one would require medication to reduce the stress induced pain. While in physiotherapy the patient should have the single-minded objective of making sure that they increase their range of motion. Doctors recommend that an individual have zero degrees to more than ninety-degree in terms of knee range.
Like any other surgery, knee replacement surgery has its own set of complications. There are two major risk factors that tend to arise. One of them is an infection. While there may be no specific sign to figure out when there is an onset of infection, doctors recommending an observational approach. The soreness and inflammations that one experiences at the onset slowly reduce over time. However, if one experiences a deteriorating situation or no improvement then there is a possibility of infection. The other major risk factor is blood clots. Doctors will always give anti-coagulation medicine to ensure clotting doesn’t take place. However, if one lives an inactive life one is likely to be at risk. Many doctors would even go so far as to recommend avoiding travel by plane.
While not considered a risk factor it can be noted that people inevitably get a swelling in the affected area after surgery. This isn’t a cause for concern as it is the body healing itself. There are different ways to manage the swelling through medication. The period of these swellings is variable and can last anywhere between 2-3 weeks post-surgery.
Most hospitals have a specialized team that will guide the patient through the recovery process after a total knee replacement surgery. They would ask questions about one’s house and current mobility to assess which is the best course of action. With the help of doctors, friends, and family one can recover from the surgery to live an active pain free life.