Your upcoming knee replacement can make it easier for you to enjoy the physical activities you love. But what does the road to recovery look like? With a knee replacement on the horizon, it can be helpful to know what to expect for the next few months following your procedure. After surgery, it’s important to follow any after-care instructions provided by your doctor to ensure a speedy recovery. Specializing in knee surgery and other orthopedic procedures, High Mountain Orthopedics is here to discuss what you should expect after your knee replacement surgery.
Immediately following surgery, you’ll be taken into a post-operative room. Typically, you’ll remain here for a couple of hours so nurses can ensure there are no immediate medical issues. The time you spend in the post-operative room varies from patient to patient. Your physician will keep you updated and be open to any questions you have. After leaving the facility, you won’t be able to drive yourself home, so make sure you have a friend or family member ready to take you home the day of surgery.
Throughout your recovery period, your doctor will give you exercises and activities to aid in the healing process. As you receive new instructions, it’s important to follow them to the best of your ability. This can help ensure that you regain full strength and mobility after your procedure. Doctors will also encourage you to keep your leg mobile, often suggesting that you move your ankle and foot to increase blood flow.
As your knee heals, you may need to walk with the help of crutches or a walker. This will help ensure you can maneuver around your home and other areas as safely as possible. In addition, your doctor may also recommend a practice commonly known as RICE, which stands for:
- R: Rest
- I: Ice
- C: Compression
- E: Elevation
Implementing RICE into your after-care routine can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as post-surgical discomfort.
Will You Need Physical Therapy?
While at-home care plans help to keep blood flowing, there’s much more that goes into the rehabilitation process after a knee replacement surgery. Along with pain medications and at-home care, your doctor may also recommend physical therapy and other rehabilitative services. After surgery, you’ll need to take steps to strengthen your body and learn how to maneuver safely with your new knee.
Physical therapy is an important addition to most recovery plans. Much of your recovery will focus on strengthening and stimulating the leg muscles to restore a full range of motion and activity. Generally, the first three months of your recovery play a key role in the long-term health and stability of your joints.
Learn More about Recovering After Surgery
High Mountain Orthopedics has served the areas of Wayne, Paramus, and Englewood, NJ, for years. We have a team of nationally renowned, highly qualified physicians and medical staff members to ensure you get the care you deserve. To discuss knee replacement surgery and what the recovery process may entail for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Matarese or Dr. Novack today.