When a patient begins the process of a total knee replacement, there is always the concern of recovery and wellbeing after the surgery. While total knee replacement can be concerning, there are many reasons why total knee replacement recovery can be bearable and definitely overall be worth it. Very few invasive surgeries have painless recoveries, but there are ways to reduce the pain and be able to function while recovering.
What is Total Knee Replacement Surgery?
A total knee replacement surgery takes place usually as a result of osteoarthritis, where the original joint has been worn down and causes pain. It is also known as knee arthroplasty. The procedure itself includes removing damaged bone, cartilage, and tendons, replacing them with artificial prostheses. This means that the original joint is taken out completely, then “replaced”, which is why it is called total knee replacement.
Concerns of Total Knee Replacement
This can be a difficult surgery depending on the amount of wear and tear, the age of the individual, and other risk factors. Some patients don’t handle surgery as well as others. Some patients heal slower and struggle with complications. Total knee replacement recovery has a lot to do with the patient’s overall health before the surgery takes place.
How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery
Before having knee replacement surgery, always consult with your doctor before doing anything. Never do anything that your doctor does not allow before your surgery. Every person’s situation is different, but some general tips apply that may help someone preparing for total knee replacement which can help with their total knee replacement recovery.
Preparing your body before the surgery can include physical therapy, daily exercises and stretching that may help you heal faster during recovery. Strengthening the surrounding muscles may help your body recover faster, but it will also help you learn to support yourself and be able to walk. Exercising your upper body can help you navigate the use of crutches or a wheelchair if needed. Lower impact exercises like swimming and biking can help reduce pain if you are struggling to exercise.
Before your surgery, be sure to eat well and get the vitamins and minerals that you need. This will help your body during recovery as well. You may want to cut back on substances like alcohol and tobacco, as they increase your risk of complications during surgery and can even make your recovery more difficult. If you talk to your doctor, they can help you with reducing your alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Prepare Your Home
Before going to the hospital, walk around your home and ensure that there are no hazards for you post-surgery. Take up any tripping hazards like clutter or slippery rugs. Rearrange furniture to make it easier for you to get around it using crutches, a walker, or other assistive devices. Maybe add rails to your stairs or on the walls of your bathroom. Place items you’ll need in easy to reach places. This can help you get ready and have a much better recovery.
Knee Replacement Recovery
Preparing can truly make your total knee replacement recovery much better, but you can also do some things to make your recovery better while you are recovering.
Post Surgery Exercise and Stretching
Your doctor may recommend post-surgical physical therapy, stretches, and exercises to increase your strength. This can help you heal much faster and get back to normal functionality more quickly. Strengthening the muscles truly can help your knee feel more normal as well. Getting blood flow to the knee and lower leg is important after surgery to avoid blood clots and swelling.
Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce pain and treat your symptoms. If you experience a lot of swelling, talk to your doctor. There are ways to help your symptoms and pain after your surgery. Remember that the way you feel is important and definitely impacts your recovery.
Sleep, Rest, Eat
One of the best things you can do for your body in recovery is to fuel it with everything it needs to heal. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep each night and that you are resting well. Don’t overexert yourself too soon after surgery. Eat healthy foods and make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body. If you take care of your body, it can take care of the healing.
Recovery Long Term
Remember that total knee replacement recovery depends on you and following the instructions of your physician. Long-term, many patients who get total knee replacement are much happier and see a great reduction in pain! Total knee replacement recovery can be tricky, but there are many ways to make it better for every patient. If you are getting ready for a total knee replacement, contact us and we can help you to prepare, have your surgery, and recover well.