5 Best Recovery Practices for Knee Replacement Surgery
The recovery process plays a critical part when it comes to getting you back on your feet and resuming an active lifestyle after a knee replacement. This phase is crucial to the success of your surgery. If carried out to perfection, it can help you heal from surgery faster and improve your chances for long-term success. The recovery process involves staying at the hospital for a couple of days, taking rest at home, taking care of your knee, and starting your physical therapy.
The average length of a hospital stay is three to five days, depending on what progress you make and what type of knee replacement you undergo. After getting discharged from the hospital, you’ll be advised to recover at home without a doctor. No doubt, recovering from knee replacement surgery at home can be challenging, but it can be made simpler with the help of friends and family members. Therefore, it’s important to have your loved ones by your side during the recovery and rehabilitation process to recover faster, get back to your normal routine and pursue the things you love doing.
Don’t be astounded if you feel extremely tired at first while recovering at home. It’s just because you had a major operation and the muscles surrounding your knee will take time to heal. Don’t forget to follow the instructions of your surgical team and take all the necessary precautions as advised. If there are any complications, call your primary doctor and discuss the problem you’re experiencing.
For a smooth and sound recovery, follow these proven and effective recovery practices for knee replacement surgery.
1. Declutter your home
When it’s about recovering from knee replacement surgery, space in your home is the key to success. Preparing your home ahead of time can help you ensure a smooth recovery. So, look around your living area, declutter your home and envision enough space for a walker to fit. You may consider moving furniture, removing rugs, placing electrical cords and wires out of the way, and boxing up anything that is unnecessary. This also serves as an opportunity for you to clean your home and carry out the various processes inducing cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and mopping.
2. Install the necessary equipment for fall prevention
Since you won’t be able to walk independently for a few days after the surgery, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to move around your house at some point. So, to prevent unnecessary falls, prefer decluttering your home as mentioned above and carry out other preventive measures which include installing hand rails, especially in your bathtub and next to your toilet seat, installing a raised toilet seat, covering outside steps with ramps, adding texture to slippery floors, installing nightlight for a better vision, and using a walker or any other walking equipmentat all times until you’re more stable.
3. Find a good physiotherapist
You need to take care of your knee after the surgery, so it is important that you keep on doing the exercises you’ve been instructed by your physical therapist. Choosing a reliable physiotherapist will help you restore your movement, recover your muscles, and get back to your normal routine. If you still experience any further stiffness in your knee after six weeks of doing the exercises, make sure you inform your surgeon or his team member at your six-week appointment.
4. Prepare a separate area for recovery
Due to lack of muscle movement, you will likely do a lot of sitting during the first few weeks of your recovery phase. So, it’s better to designate a recovery area (usually the living room) with a sturdy chair to relax on. To be precise, the chair should also have arms and a solid back so that you don’t fall. A recliner chair would be a good choice as it allows you to elevate your legs and sit comfortably, using the back of the chair as support. Also, try keeping your daily use gears within arm’s reach to limit unnecessary body movements, such as eyeglasses, cellphone, television remote, books, tissues, medicines, water bottle, snacks, etc.
5. Have someone by your side throughout the recovery process
Recovering from knee replacement surgery can be challenging as it makes your ability to move and carry out normal activities difficult. So, it’s necessary to have someone by your side, especially during the initial recovery period. If you’re living alone, you can ask a friend or a loved one to stay with you during your recovery process, or you can arrange for in-home care. Even if you’re living with a spouse or other family member, having an extra pair of hands will surely make a BIG difference as it will help you arrange assistance with monitoring your condition post-surgery, getting dressed, changing bandages, cooking meals, household chores, navigating stairs, paying bills, and other related tasks.
Getting prepared for recovery is much like preparing for your final exam, where you know you have to pass no matter what. So, follow these simple yet effective recovery tips to ensure a smoother, more comfortable recovery period.