Total Knee Replacement Recovery
What do you do after Total Knee Replacement surgery?
In this section we will discuss a few things you need to know in regard to what happens after total knee replacement surgery. We will cover some common hospital protocols as well as precautions your doctor and staff will be taking to avoid complications which can result from knee replacements.
Surgery and Total Knee Replacement recovery
After your total knee replacement surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for a period of observation. The staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature. Special attention will be given to your circulation and sensation in your feet and legs. When you awaken and your condition is stabilized you will be transferred to your room. Most patients are hospitalized for about 10 days. Your leg may be positioned in a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine after surgery. Keep the center of your knee cap at the bend of the CPM machine and do not adjust the CPM machine yourself. While you are in bed, this machine will continuously bend and straighten your leg. The CPM machine keeps your joint from becoming stiff and speeds recovery.
Following surgery, you will receive physical therapy. Trained professionals will determine the exercise programs for your physical therapy. A short robe and low-heeled walking shoes are recommended when learning to walk with crutches or a walker. Your physical therapist will start you off between parallel bars in preparation for the use of crutches or a walker. These bars allow you to practice walking by supporting part of your body weight with your arms rather than on your surgical leg. As you become more comfortable with walking, your physical therapist may allow you to practice walking on the hospital unit with assistance. Before you go home, your therapist will teach you to climb stairs and to transfer from a bed, chair, and car. Your physical therapist will design an exercise program to increase the motion and strength of your knee. Range of motion exercises will let your knee move easily from the fully straight position to a 90Â° bent position. Your participation is vital. The goal is for you to become as independent in your personal care and daily activities as possible before you return home.
Hospital discharge and home instructions
Before leaving the hospital, your doctor and staff will help you adjust to recovery in every way possible. They will show you safe techniques of simple activities like getting in and out of bed, bathing, going to the bathroom, managing steps at home and getting in and out of a car.
Life after knee replacement surgery
Progress varies from patient to patient so discharge instructions may vary. You will receive specific instructions and precautions from your surgeon and physical therapist. In general, patients must use support in two hands for about six weeks after surgery while their muscles are rehabilitating. You will be given written instructions for the exercises you will be continuing at home.