Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery: What To Expect
There are few things more difficult than recovering from a knee replacement surgery. There are numerous precautions with which you should familiarize yourself. During the recovery period of your knee replacement surgery, it is best to follow your physician's and surgeon's instructions to an absolute T. However, what is it that you can expect? Included throughout this brief article are some insights on what to expect after experiencing knee replacement surgery and some tips on how to deal with these phenomenon.
Short Term Recovery
Short-term recovery basically refers to the time after your surgery to the time it will actually take until you can properly walk on your knee again and until the worst pain subsides. You can expect a rather extensive amount of pain during this time, but it should be made, if not bearable, then manageable by the use of prescription medication prescribed by your physician.
The good news is that most people make it through this period quite well, and you will be able to experience your brand new knee for the first time during this period. Two of the biggest problems associated with the period of time during short-term recovery are blood clots and maintaining proper mobility. Due to the fact that you will be largely immobile during this time, the presence of blood clots is a real possibility. You will most likely be given blood thinners to prevent this from occurring, as well as be put on a diet that lacks vitamin K and other factors that are known to thicken blood.
As to the matter of mobility, you will most likely be dealing with a physical therapist for this matter. A physical therapist, who will probably be recommended to you by your physician, should help you with a number of mobility exercises. These mobility exercises will help you both deal with the pain and maintain muscle integrity that you will undoubtedly lose during this period of recovery. You will probably be given exercises that you should do at home daily, as well as exercises you will do in physical therapy.
Long Term Recovery
Long-term recovery refers to the period of time that comes some time after short-term recovery. This phase usually begins after the third month and lasts until you have fully and properly recovered as much mobility as your body possibly can – which can take upwards of 12 months.
Generally speaking, at this point, you are ready to return to your every day activities. However, there are still some precautions to heed and things like swelling can still happen upwards of a year after your full recovery. You will have to take care of yourself and be aware that infections are going to be a possibility for the rest of your life, not just during the long-term recovery period.
If you have any other form of invasive surgery, the chance of outside sources affecting the property of your artificial knee is a real possibility. It is important to keep other physicians and surgeons you deal with aware of this situation so they do not compromise your health. You should also speak to your physician about high impact sports or exercises, such as jogging and especially sports such as football. Depending on your condition, you might have to make these things a relic of your past. Your implants may set off metal detectors, such as at airports, as well – if there is any metal present in the implant.
Living with an artificial knee need not be a horrible experience, although, especially in the months following up your surgery, it can be a difficult one. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the experience that you can now expect.