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Knee Replacement Surgery - Pain and Recovery

Dr. Nitin Bansal 87% (14 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Bathinda  •  12 years experience
Knee Replacement Surgery - Pain and Recovery

If you are about to undergo a knee replacement surgery, it is important to know the extent of pain that it involves, and the recovery period that follows. A knee replacement surgery is a major surgery, and a patient needs a lot of time to adjust to the replacement of his knee. The time of recovery depends on the patient and form of surgery that has been undertaken. The steps of recovery after a knee replacement surgery are as follows:

After surgery

  • After the surgery, you will be given painkillers which you can self-administer using a switch. You may also require an oxygen mask or blood transfusion.
  • You may require crutches and should walk within a frame. The ability to get back to walking without any help depends on the patient.
  • You will be taught exercises for strengthening your knees in the hospital by a physiotherapist.
  • It is likely for you to experience some initial discomfort during exercising and walking, as your legs may become swollen.
  • Putting on a passive motion machine may be beneficial in restoring movement in your knees when you are lying in bed.
  • It is likely for you to spend a period of three to five days in the hospital, based on your condition and its progress.
  • An enhanced recovery program may be suggested by your surgeon in which you may start walking from the surgery day itself.

Recovery at home

  • It is normal for you to feel tired and fatigued at home in the beginning. A knee replacement surgery is a major surgery, and the tissues and muscles around your knees require time to heal properly.
  • You should arrange for a person who would help you while you go out for a few weeks after the surgery.
  • It is very important for you to practice the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist. This is a vital part of speedy recovery and you should not avoid them.
  • You will be able to stop depending on crutches or walking frames and go back to your regular activities and schedule, six weeks after the surgery.
  • The swelling and pain associated with the surgery may take around three months to depart.

The recovery process usually continues for two years after undergoing the surgery. During this period, scar tissue heals and your muscles get restored through exercises. It is recommended for you to avoid any kind of extreme sports or movements in which there is a risk of falling, such as mountain biking, or skiing.

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