"Welcome to Spire Orthopaedic Centre. We are a one stop, full service Orthopaedic Centre to meet your diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation needs for all your bone, joint and back pain conditions." Call Us at 8031 4388
whatsapp 80314388

Recovering from a Total Knee Replacement Surgery

22nd Jan 2024 | 0 comments

Recovering from a total knee replacement surgery involves a multifaceted approach that spans from the immediate post-operative period to long-term maintenance. This journey is unique for each individual, yet there are general precautions that can help make the process smoother and more effective.

Immediate Postoperative Period

The immediate aftermath of a total knee replacement surgery is a critical phase. During this time, managing pain, preventing complications and infections are paramount. Patients are generally encouraged to start moving and walking with assistance as soon as possible, often within the first 24 hours post-surgery. 

This early movement is crucial for improving blood circulation, enhancing joint flexibility, and reducing the risk of blood clots. Pain management, typically through medications prescribed by the surgeon, is tailored to each patient’s needs to ensure comfort and facilitate early movement. It’s also important to follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding wound care to prevent infection.

Home Recovery

Once discharged from the hospital, the comfort of home can significantly aid in recovery. However, this stage requires careful planning. The home environment should be prepared in advance to avoid hazards and support a person with limited mobility. Simple adjustments like removing loose rugs, installing grab bars in the bathroom, and ensuring a comfortable and accessible sleeping area can make a significant difference. 

It’s also important to continue taking medications and performing prescribed exercises during this period. Family support and understanding are also crucial, as emotional well-being directly impacts physical recovery.

Continued Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a cornerstone of recovery after knee replacement surgery. It typically begins in the hospital and continues for weeks or months at home or a rehabilitation facility. A physical therapist will guide the patient through exercises designed to strengthen the knee and improve flexibility. The goal is to rebuild strength, enhance flexibility, and facilitate the return to normal activities.

Initially, physical therapy focuses on basic movements and exercises to regain mobility in the knee joint. These exercises are often gentle, with a focus on slowly stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knee. Therapists also work on improving the range of motion, which is crucial for basic activities like walking, sitting, and climbing stairs.

As recovery progresses, the intensity and complexity of the exercises increase. The therapist may introduce resistance training to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee. This phase might include using exercise bands, light weights, or weight machines. Such exercises not only improve the strength of the knee but also contribute to overall stability and balance.

These exercises are crucial for regaining full function of the knee. Commitment to this therapy regimen is necessary as it directly influences the success of the surgery and the speed of recovery.

Returning to Normal Activities

Gradually resuming daily activities is an important aspect of recovery. The timeline for this varies depending on the individual’s progress and the nature of their daily tasks. Initially, activities that put less stress on the knee, such as swimming or cycling, may be recommended. It’s important to avoid high-impact activities like jogging or sports that involve jumping or quick turns, at least in the initial months post-surgery. Listening to the body and not rushing this process is key to a full recovery.

Long-Term Recovery

Long-term recovery focuses on fully integrating the new knee into all aspects of life. This phase can last up to a year and is marked by gradual improvements in strength and mobility. Continued adherence to exercise routines and periodic consultations with healthcare providers are important. This phase allows individuals to evaluate their progress and make any necessary adjustments to their lifestyle or activities to accommodate their new knee.

Ongoing Maintenance

Maintaining the health of the replaced knee is a lifelong commitment. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding high-impact activities are critical for prolonging the life of the prosthetic knee. Regular check-ups with the orthopaedic surgeon are also essential to monitor the condition of the implant and address any issues promptly. A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is beneficial for overall bone health.

Precautions to Take

Certain precautions are necessary to protect the new knee and ensure a smooth recovery. These include: 

  • avoiding activities that put excessive strain on the knee
  • being cautious with movements that involve twisting or turning the knee sharply
  • using assistive devices like canes or walkers as recommended by the healthcare provider
  • being vigilant about signs of infection or complications

 If you’re unsure about any signs or symptoms you experience during your recovery from total knee replacement surgery, it’s important to contact your doctor.

Total knee replacement surgery in Singapore

Being active is the cornerstone for a fulfilled life, and a bad knee can prevent that from happening. As experienced orthopaedic specialists, we understand the significance of possessing a free and full range of movement. 

At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, our team of surgeons and clinicians are committed to providing accurate diagnosis and high-quality treatment to all our patients. If you need help with diagnosing your knee problems, or require a total knee replacement, contact us now!