Knee replacement surgery is usually recommended to patients with a damaged knee joint that is beyond conservative treatments. Most patients with damaged knee joints suffer from osteoarthritis or have had a serious knee injury. Once it has progressed to an advanced stage, the pain is usually debilitating, which limits mobility and a life of normalcy.
Knee replacement surgery involves removing and replacing damaged parts of the joint with highly durable prosthetic parts. Patients who get a knee replacement experience great relief from pain and restored functionality to the knee.
It’s a reasonable expectation to have a desire to return to your normal activities after knee replacement surgery. However, you should know that it will take time, and you have to dedicate ample time to recovery and rehabilitation. How well you stick to your doctor’s instructions can affect the outcome of surgery. Your active participation in your full recovery is necessary.
If you are considering knee replacement surgery and are curious about what your mobility will be like after the procedure, here’s what you can expect.
Immediately After Knee Replacement Surgery
Following surgery, it’s advised that you avoid placing stress on the new knee. While in the hospital, an occupational therapist will be assigned to your care. They will teach you how to safely get out of bed, sit in a chair, use the bathroom, and use your assistive device before you are cleared to leave the facility. You will begin to move almost immediately after surgery. The therapist will also teach you physical therapy exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles surrounding the new knee, as a way to slowly regain your strength and restore function.
For the first several weeks, you will need an assistive device to get around. You will only be walking enough to get around your house, complete minor chores, and to perform physical therapy exercises. You should expect limited mobility and make arrangements to be off of work and other commitments during this time.
Returning To Normal Activities After Knee Replacement Surgery
After several weeks, you will continue to work with your physical therapist and independently at home to perform exercises and should try to move as much as possible without exhausting yourself. Immobilization is not good for the joint as it can increase scar tissue development and make your recovery longer. However, keep in mind that you cannot stress out the new knee too much. Therefore, take short walks, exercise safely and not too intensely, and talk with your surgeon or physical therapist about even the mildest signs of concern.
Driving is only recommended after you’ve weaned off opioid medication and your knee has healed significantly. If your occupation does not require much physical exertion, you may be able to return after several weeks, depending on whether you can drive and/or walk to and from work.
If you played sports before surgery, you should be able to return after two months, depending on your doctor’s recommendation and how quickly you heal. High-impact contact sports are unfortunately too risky for your new knee, so you may need to give up playing such sports for quite some time.
Following knee replacement surgery, you need to check with your doctor for every activity that you wish to return to. Don’t engage in any activity without your doctor’s go-ahead, as it may damage your new knee and cause you to suffer from pain once again.
Outpatient Knee Replacement Surgery in Clinton Township, MI
At Movement Orthopedics, we offer outpatient knee replacement surgery to our patients who are eligible for the procedure. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carol is experienced in performing minimally-invasive, robotic knee replacement surgery successfully with a high patient satisfaction rating.
To find out if knee replacement surgery is right for you, schedule a consultation by calling Movement Orthopedics at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment now. Our friendly staff will get back to you quickly.