Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States.
Also known as arthroplasty, knee replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged parts of the knee with artificial parts. Over 90 percent of patients who have had their knees replaced noticed a significant change in their mobility and quality of life.
Recovery and Rehabilitation After Knee Replacement
On your first day after surgery, a physical therapist will help you do some minor movements with the help of assistive devices (e.g. crutches, canes, walkers). He/she will show you how to move in and out of your bed, sit at the side of the bed, and walk a few steps with the help of the assistive device.
You may still feel some pain and swelling after the surgery. These are normal and will eventually subside.
At this stage, you’ll be encouraged to do as much as you can. To keep you from pushing yourself too much too soon, your surgical team will work with you to set realistic goals.
On this day, you may notice that your activities have gradually increased. You’ll still be using your assistive device to stand up, sit down, change locations, use the toilet instead of the bedside commode, walk a little further, and climb a few steps. Your PT will be right there with you to assist you.
By this week, you may be at home or at a rehab facility.
You may still experience pain, but not as much compared to Week 1. You may still be using an assistive device at this point (many people start using canes instead of crutches or walkers by Week 2 or 3).
Weeks 4 to 6
If you’ve been religiously doing your rehab or prescribed exercises from your PT, you may start noticing a dramatic improvement in your knee strength and bend.
During this period, your PT will work with you to get you to walk on longer distances and slowly wean you off from the use of the assistive device.
Weeks 7 to 11
At this period, the aim of your rehab is to rapidly improve your mobility and flexibility. Your PT will also include exercises to strengthen your knee and its surrounding muscles.
Committing to rehab is very important as it will determine how quickly you can get back to your normal activities.
During these weeks, you may be able to do some activities without the aid of your walking device.
You may feel significantly less pain at this period.
At this point, you may be able to start doing fun and recreational activities and a full range of knee motion. You may have less or no pain when performing some of your normal activities.
Over time, you will continue to see improvements in your knee mobility and strength. If you commit to your rehab plan, you’ll soon be back to your usual routine.
Ozark Orthoapedics has a team of specialists who will walk you all throughout the process. We’ll be right there with you before, during, and after your knee replacement surgery. You can request an appointment by calling us at (479) 521-2752.